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THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936 



BY 

JAMES H. MCGEE, III 



A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL 
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF. FLORIDA IN 
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS 
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY 



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 
1980 



Copyright 1980 

by 

James H. McGee, III 



Dedicated to the memory of 

Prof. Dr. Thilo Vogelsang 

— gentleman, scholar, friend — 



ACKNOWI.EDCEMENTS 

During tlie five years of research and writing which has gone into 
this work, I have incurred a long series of debts to be acknowledged. 
I would first like to thank the three scholars who supervised this 
work in its various stages. Dr. Max H. Kele, Dr. Alan Beyerchen, and 
Dr. Charles F. Sidman. Dr. Kele provided the inspiration for this 
work and guided it through its beginnings. In a larger sense, his 
standards of scholarship have served me as a model throughout my 
graduate career. Dr. Beyerchen's advice and assistance helped carry 
me past critical obstacles in the intermediate stages of the work. 
Dr. Sidman supervised the completion of my study. Through his 
extensive knowledge of Bavarian history and his unfailing insistence 
upon precision in interpretation and expression, he exerted a profound 
influence upon every aspect of the work. My gratitude to these three 

men goes far beyond what can be expressed in this brief compass. 

Many others also contributed to this work, I am very grateful to 

Professors David Bushnell, Geoffrey Giles, Helga Kraft, Neill Macaulay, 

Harry Paul, Claude Sturgill, and Norman Wilensky, all of the University 

of Florida, for their help, encouragement, and interest in my work. 

A similar debt of gratitude is owed to Professor James M. Diehl of 

Indiana University-Bloomlngton. 

A number of German scholars and archivists assisted me during the 

course of my research. I am indebted to Prof. Dr. Karl Bosl of the 

iv 



University of Munich for his advice based upon years of involvement 
with the issues n f Bavarian history. I")r. iierinann-Joseph lUisley, 
Dr. .losejih hauchs, and Dr. Hermann Runiscliot tel , all of the Bavarian 
State Arcliives staff, helped me to cliart a path through the maze of 
sources related to my topic. Their assistance was, quite literally, 
invaluable. I would also like to thank Dr. Martin Broszat for 
permission to use the unmatched facilities of the Institut fur 
Zeitgeschichte in Munich. 

Personal friends, both in the United States and in Germany, 
helped in a variety of ways: in Germany, Paul Hoser, Edita Marx, 
and Sarah Westphal; in the United States, Tina Koraaniecka, Rosemary 
and Gary Brana-Shute, and Blair and Vicki Turner. In this context I 
would also like to thank my parents for their encouragement and support 
over many years. 

My research in Germany was made possible by a Fulbright-Hays 
grant in 1976-1977. I would like to thank Dr. Ulrich Littman and 
Dr. Barbara Ischinger of the Fulbright Office in Bonn for their 
assistance, which went far beyond the simple provision of financial 
support. At other times during my graduate school years the Departments 
of History and Humanities at the University of Florida provided 
financial support. 

My greatest debt is to my wife, Sandy, whose love, understanding, 
and support has sustained me throughout the years of research and 
writing. I had originally intended to dedicate this work to her, an 



V 



intention which reflects the depth of her contribution. Her contribu- 
tions, hovv'ovor, arc ciii)',c) i ng; T will, T trust, have occiision in the 
future to measure tliem In a dedication. Tiie contr Ji:)utlons of another, 
however, have been stilled. I will never again have the occasion to 
thank him for the many personal and professional kindnesses he showed 
to me during my year in Munich, or to appropriately recognize his 
influence upon my work. This work is therefore dedicated to the late 
Prof. Dr. Thilo Vogelsang. 

These individuals have helped make this a better work, and 1 am 
deeply grateful to them all. In no way, however, should any of them 
be held liable for the results of their assistance. The interpretations 
are my own, and so are the errors they contain. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Page 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv 

ABSTRACT vii 

INTRODUCTION 

THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936 1 

Notes 12 

CHAPTER 1 

THE POLITICAL POLICE IN THE POHNEE ERA, 1919-1921 13 

Notes 55 

CHAPTER 2 

A CASE OF POLITICAL MURDER 62 

Notes 104 

CHAPTER 3 

THE POLITJCAL POLICE AND THE BEER HALL PUTSCH, 1921-1923 112 

Notes 162 

CHAPTER 4 

THE EXPANSION OF THE POLITICAL POLICE SYSTEM, 1923-1930 169 

Notes 215 

CHAPTER 5 

THE WAY TO THE GESTAPO, 1930-1936 223 

Notes 280 

CONCLUSIONS 288 

BIBLIOGRAPHIC ESSAY 293 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 300 

Archival Sources 300 

Published Sources 316 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 323 



Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council 
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the 
Rcqu ireniLMUs for the Decree of Doctor of PIii]osophy 



THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936 

By 

James H. McGee, III 

March 1980 

Chairman: Charles F. Sidman 
Major Department: History 

This study examines the administrative, personal, and operational 

history of the political police in the German State of Bavaria from 

the end of the 1919 revolutions through the first years of the Third 

Reich. It relates the Nazi political police organization, the Gestapo, 

to one of its most important Weimar era predecessors. During the 

Weimar years Bavaria was a focal point of political activity in Germany. 

This was particularly true during the first years of the republic's 

existence. The German radical right made Munich, the capital of 

Bavaria, its headquarters in the period from 1919 to 1923. The 

initial successes of the radical right were, in part, made possible 

by the sympathetic attitude of the political police in Bavaria. After 

the Nazi takeover in 1933, officers schooled in the Bavarian political 

police formed an important part of the leadership cadre of the Gestapo. 

Thus, the first theme of this work is the connection between the 

Bavarian political police and the emergence of the powerful radical 



\ ill 



right-wing movement in Germany after the First World War. The second 
tlicme is that oT t]ic tics hctwccn the political police as it existed 
prior to 1933 and the post-1933 Nazi police state apparatus. It has 
been argued tliat tlie changes in tlie Bavarian political police 
instituted after the National Socialist takeover comprised a revolution 
in political police organization and practice and that this revolution 
formed the basis of the Nazi police state. The present study contends, 
in contrast, that the changes introduced in Bavaria in 1933 and after 
represented an extension and an intensification of tendencies within 
the political police system which dated back to 1919. In other words, 
the changes which took place were evolutionary, rather than revolu- 
tionary, and grew out of a pattern which predated the Nazi seizure of 
power by many years. This study will also indicate how these two 
main themes intersect, for the role of the political police in the 
emergence of the radical right in Bavaria was related to the evolution 
of the political police system both before and after 1933, 

In a larger sense, this work is a case study in the evolution of 
a bureaucratic agency within a particular historical framework. It is 
meant not only as a contribution to the understanding of recent German 
history, but also as a contribution to the study of bureaucracies. 
It is a work of history, not social science, and is thus concerned 
with the particular, the immediate, in some instances with the unique. 
It makes no attempt to generalize systematically from the example of 
the political police in Bavaria to other bureaucratic organizations, 



even other political police bureaucracies. It should, however, in 
the company of other studies from different historical and geograpliical 
settings, provide a basis for more meaningful generalizations. This 
study suggests, from the example of the political police in Bavaria, 
that the historical development of state bureaucracies is as much 
governed by dynamics internal to the bureaucracy itself — in this 
case the political beliefs of the police bureaucrats — as by 
external events. 



INTRODUCTION 
Till' POLITICAL POLJCI' f.N BAVARIA, 1919-19:36 



This study examines the administrative, personal, and operational 
history of the political police in the German state of Bavaria from 
the end of the 1919 revolutions through the first years of the Third 
Reich. It relates the Nazi political police organization, the Gestapo, 
to one of its most important Weimar era predecessors. During the 
Weimar years Bavaria was a focal point of political activity in 
Germany. This was particularly true during the critical first years 
of the republic's existence. The German radical right made Munich, 
the capital of Bavaria, its headquarters in the period from 1919 to 
1923. The Nazi party had its real beginnings in Munich, and Hitler 
made his entry into politics there. The initial successes of the Nazi 
movement in Bavaria were, in part, made possible by the sympathetic 
attitude of the political police. After the Nazi takeover in 1933, 
officers schooled in the Bavarian political police formed an important 
part of the leadership cadre of the Gestapo; the head of the Gestapo, 
Heinrich Muller, was only the most notable among many Bavarian political 
policemen who built successful careers in the service of the Nazis. 
The story of Nazism, from its birth amidst the hatreds of a defeated 
nation to its death in battle against an aroused world, is central to 



the history of the 20th Century. The story of the political police in 
Bnv.-iri,-i, in turn, w.is ,i s i i',n i f i cnn t p,-irt of the l.irj'i'r clr.inui of N.i/.isni. 
Tims, the first Llieme of this work is Llie study of the connneclion 
between the liavarL.-m pt)lLtLeal police and tlie emergence of Llie powerful 
radical right-wing movement in Germany after the First World War. The 
second theme is that of the ties between the political police as it 
existed prior to 1933 and the post-1933 Nazi police state apparatus. It 
has been argued that the changes in the Bavarian political police 
instituted In the aftermath of the National Socialist takeover comprised 
a revolution in political police organization and practice. This 
revolution formed the basis of the Nazi police state. The present 
study will contend, in contrast, that the changes Introduced in Bavaria 
in 1933 and after represented an extension and an intensification of 
tendencies within the political police system which dated back to 1919. 
In other words, the changes which took place were evolutionary, rather 
than revolutionary, and grew out of a pattern vhlch predated the 
Nazi seizure of power by many years. This study will also indicate 
how these two main themes Intersect, for the role of the political 
police in the emergence of the radical right in Bavaria was not unrelated 
to the later service of many political police officers in the Nazi regime. 

In a larger sense, this work is a case study in the evolution of 
a bureaucratic agency within a particular historical framework. It is 
meant not only as a contribution to our understanding of recent German 



history, but also as a contribution to the understanding of bureau- 
cracies. It is a work of history, not social science, and is thus 
concerned witli the particular, the immediate, in some instances with 
tlie unique. It makes no attempt to generalize systematically from 
the example of the political police in Bavaria to other bureaucratic 
organizations, even other political police bureaucracies. It should, 
however, in the company of other studies from different historical 
and geographical settings, provide a basis for more meaningful 
generalization. 

The lack of such a basis is particularly evident in the realm 
of the political police. By their very nature political police 
institutions elude careful scholarly study. The standard synonym 
for "political" police is "secret" police, and, in most societies, 
the secrets of the political police are well-kept. Even long after 
these secrets have passed from the sphere of current policy, they 
customarily remain closely protected. For this reason, Germany in 
the years prior to 19A5 presents a special case and a rare opportunity, 
The circumstances which surrounded the collapse of the Third Reich 
and the generally held desire for a reckoning with the Nazi experience- 
a desire evident within Germany as well as without — have combined to 
make the records of the political police in Germany for this period 
more accessible than those of any other modern nation. In virtually 
no other case can one examine the operations of the political police 
in a modern society from the inside, from its own records and secret 



documents. Even in the case of Germany conditions are not ideal; many 
important documonts were dostroyc-d or lost at the end of the Second 
World War. Wliat remains, liowever, is a collection of unparalleled 

scope, more material, indeed, than any one sciiolar could absorh in a 

2 
lifetime. The extent of the available materials dictates the need 

for a limited geographic and temporal focus. Studies which concentrate 
upon the national level must, perforce, be limited in detail about 
the pattern of specific developments. A regional study, however, 
permits this kind of close analysis. Coupled with the intrinsic 
historical importance of the political police in Bavaria during the 
years in question, this practical consideration suggested the choice 
of Bavaria as a case study. 

The term "political police" admits of many definitions. In this 
work, the political police will be viewed as the agency or agencies 
specifically charged by the state with the surveillance of political 
activity and the investigation and prosecution, as the executive arm 
of the justice system, of political crime. As we shall see, the lines 
between these specially constituted agencies and the regular, non- 
political police frequently become blurred when one moves away from 
Tables of Organization and into actual operations. Is the patrolman 
who intervenes to stop a fight between political gangs a political 
policeman? Is the homicide detective who investigates a political 
murder doing political police work? This study will concentrate upon 



the political police as a special part of the overall police force, 
but it will also he nttentivo to those points of overlap. Tlie political 
police will he viewed as a police institution, not strictly as a 
political aj^ency. 

The study of the political police, nonetheless, is intimately 
related to political questions. One cannot understand the nature of 
political police work or the attitudes which shape the behavior of 
political policemen in isolation from the political context in which 
political police operations take place. This study is not meant as 
a history of Bavarian politics during the years from 1919 to 1936, 
but, at the same time, the basic narrative would make little sense if 
divorced from a consideration of larger political events. An attempt 
has therefore been made to integrate the story of the political police 
into a broader narrative of political developments. 

A second set of definitions arises from the need for a shorthand 
form for separating the various contending political groups into 
meaningful categories. For simplicity's sake I have adopted the form 
customarily used by the Bavarian political police themselves, which 
followed popular usage in placing the different parties and political 
groups along the conventional left to right political continuum. The 
middle point is represented by those groups loyal to the Weimar republic 
and to the republican constitution. The extremes are defined by those 
groups fundamentally and violently opposed to the republic's existence, 



with their placement to the left or right dependent upon the actual 
terms of their opposition. Figure 1 provides n schematic representation 
of this pattern of placement. Parties and other political groups are 
idenLified on tliis laiile liy tlieir standard designations. Tlie i r actual 
political positions will be discussed, where necessary, in the text. 

It should be noted that Figure 1 records tendencies and not fixed 
positions. Party positions shifted from issue to issue, and individual 
attitudes shifted within parties. Moreover, there was a regular slippage 
from one party or group to another. Thus, an Independent Socialist 
might become a Communist, or a member of the right-wing DNVP might slip 
into the Nazi camp. This slippage usually took place between adjacent 
parties. Still, the extremists always had their extremism in common, 
which provided a basis for movement between the extreme right and left. 

The term "fascism" is avoided throughout, on the grounds that 
it generates more heat than light. The term "radical right" is used to 
describe that varied collection of political groups, some nationalist, 
some particularist , some reactionary, and some revolutionary, which were 
united by a common hatred of the republic and of the political left. 
Little consideration is given to the "liberal" parties, because these 
parties in Bavaria were extremely weak after 1919 and did little to 
influence the political environment. The two main parties in Bavaria 
wore the SPD and the BVP. These parties dominated the Bavarian political 
landscape during the period 1919-1933, and were thus the parties which 
did most in shaping the political context for political police operations. 



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The structure of this study has been dictated by the need to 
combine tlie basic narrative of political and orp,ani za t ional developments 
affecting the political police system with a close examination of the 
aclual operations of the political police and the formative professional 
experiences of political police personnel. Chapter 1 sets the political 
scene in the spring of 1919, explains the basic organization of the 
political police at that time, and carries the political and organi- 
zational narrative forward to the fall of 1921. Chapter 2 is a detailed 
excursion into one of the special problems of the period 1919-1922, 
the relationship of the political police to the phenomenon of political 
murder in Bavaria. This chapter serves several distinct, but inter- 
related purposes. It provides a close look at the inner workings of 
the political police organization during this early period; it highlights 
the links between the political police and the worst features of 
radical right-wing extremism; it introduces a subsidiary theme of the 
work, the exploration of the process of "indirect police terror" as a 
method of political repression. Most of all, it fixes firmly the 
tendencies of professional and political conditioning experienced by 
political police officers in Bavaria in the first years of the Weimar 
republic. Chapter 3 advances the narrative through the year 1923, 
relating the changes in the political police organization to the 
momentous political events of that year. The chapter culminates with 
the Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923. The events of the putsch 



10 



itself have been thoroughly discussed elsewhere, and thus the chapter 
confines itself to the impact of the putsch upon the political police. 
Chapter A outlines in detail the evolving political police organization 
in Bavaria and explains through a consideration of illustrative examples 
the workings of that organization after 1923. It parallels, in this 
sense, Chapter 2 for the earlier period. If the examples considered 
in Chapter 2 are lurid, then those in Chapter 4 are more mundane. The 
combination of the lurid and the mundane, however, is characteristic 
of political police activities, indeed, of all police work. In Chapter 
2, I have endeavored to present the lurid aspects of political police 
work with restraint, while at the same time making explicit the harsh 
brutality of the era in political assassination. In Chapter 4, I 
have tried to enliven the mundane without doing violence to the tenor 
of much political police work. The concluding chapter, Chapter 5, 
completes the narrative by relating the political police organization 
of the Weimar years to its Nazi successors. The narrative concludes in 
1936 with the formal integration of the Bavarian political police into 
the national Gestapo system. My conclusions are summarized at the end 
of the work. In addition to a formal bibliography and the running 
historiographical commentary provided in the notes appended at the 
end of each chapter, a bibliographic essay has been included as a 
further guide to tlie sources upon which this work is based. 



11 



Many individual characters will pass through the following pages. 
'I'wo anK>ng them Iiave heen singled out Tor special attention, lu-nst I'cihncr 
and Benno Martin. The choice of Pohner reflects his importance in the 
growtli of tlie political police system in Bavaria and his imprint upon 
its values and attitudes. Martin is presented as an example of the 
contradictory qualitites of this system in the years after 1933. 

The world has grown accustomed, perhaps too much so, to the political 
police as a basic institution of the modern state. Liberal democratic 
theorists have generally condemned the very existence of the political 
police as destructive to the exercise of political freedom. Yet few 
modern states, no matter how liberal or democratic their pretensions, 
have been able to do without some form of political police. A study 
of one such institution, bound to a particular historical setting, cannot 
answer all of the questions which arise from a consideration of the 
role of the political police in modern society. It can, however, suggest 
refinements to these questions and lead to their more precise formulation. . 
It is hoped that this study will contribute to this process. 



12 



Notes 



Shlomo Aronson, Relnhard Heydrlch und die Fruhgeschichto von 
Gestapo iind SD (SLuttRart, 1971), p. 'J^t. 



See the bibliographic essay for a more detailed discussion of 
these sources. 



CHAPTER 1 
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN THE POHNER ERA, 1919-1921 

In his blanket condemnation of the Weimar Republic's civil 
servants, Adolf Hitler allowed only two exceptions, Ernst Pohner, 
the Police President of Munich from 1919 to 1921, and Pohner's right- 
hand man, Wilhelm Frick, Of Pohner Hitler wrote: 

Ernst Pohner . . . and Wilhelm Frick, his faithful 
advisor, were the only high state officials who 
had the courage to be first Germans and then 
officials. Ernst Pohner was the only man in a 
responsible position who did not curry favor with 
the masses, but felt responsible to his nationality 
and was ready to risk and sacrifice everything, even 
if necessary his personal existence, for the 
resurrection of the German people whom he loved 
above all things. 

Hitler's words were not the only tribute paid by the Nazis to Ernst 

Pohner. The party provided the honor guard at Pohner's funeral on 

2 
April 16, 1925. Two and one-half years later, on the occasion of the 

transfer of Pohner's body to a new resting place, the leading figures 

of the Nazi movement appeared to pay their further respects. At the 

climax of the ceremony Adolf Hitler delivered a speech in which he 

echoed the lavish praise bestowed upon Pohner in Me in Kampf . In a 

ringing peroration Hitler declared: "PBhner sought the creation of a 

nation of brothers, in order to smash the chains which bound us." 



13 



14 



Hitler's oxtrnvngance may well have been a product of the propa- 
panda opportum' (:i es of Pored by tlie orrasion, but tlie debt wh i cIi the 
Na/i iiiovemeiU owed I'ohnerwas real. A.s Police I'resident, I'iihner exleiuh'd 

a "sheltering hand" to protect tlie activities of the nascent Nazi 

4 
movement. In doing so he ensured its survival and gave it an oppor- 
tunity for future growth. This passive image, however, does little 
to convey the full dimensions of Pohner's commitment to both the radical 
right in general and the Nazis in particular. As a key figure in 
Bavarian politics during the post-war period, Pohner actively aided the 
volkisch movement and occupied a central position in its highest 
councils. At the time of the Beer Hall Putsch he threw in his lot 
with Hitler, and after its failure stood trial alongside him. But 
Pohner's contribution did not stop there. In shaping the post-war 
Bavarian political police, he influenced both the spirit and the struc- 
ture of that institution and of its successor, the Gestapo. 

Ernst Pohner was born on January 11, 1870, in the small north- 
eastern Bavarian city of Hof. After the traditional legal training 
he entered the civil service, and rose through the ranks to a senior 
judicial position. The Germany of Pohner's youth and early manhood 
was undergoing rapid and dramatic changes. Contemporaries frequently 
identified the acceleration of economic growth and social changes with 
the unificiation of 1870. In reality it was much more the other way 
around, for the process of economic and social transformation had begun 



15 



much earlier and had contributed materially to the drive for political 
unification. The years after 1870 were years of pride and of national 
sc'l f-asscr t ion . 

l''or Bavarians of I'ohner's >',imu' ra I. I on , however, the unlllcaLlon ol 
Germany produced a certain ambivalence. The preceding generation could 
grow old and remain comfortably unequivocal in its hostility to a 
Prussian-dominated German Reich . The following generation would 
combine local pride with an acceptance of the Reich as part of the 
natural order of things. Pohner's generation, however, faced in two 
directions at once. \^±le partaking of the general pride in things 
German which was characteristic of the era, its members could not 
help but know that Bavaria was different — German, and yet, something 
both more and less than German. 

During the years before the First World War, Bavaria changed along 
with the nation as a whole, but at a slower pace. As Germany became 
a nation of "smokestack" barons and industrial laborers, Bavaria 
remained predominantly agrarian. In 1907 A6.3% of those employed 
in Bavaria worked in agriculture or in forestry; only 26.1% worked 
in industry. As late as 1925 the figure for employment on the land 
in Bavaria was 43.8%, in contrast to an average for Germany as a 
whole of 30.5%. Moreover, the industries which did exist in Bavaria 
tended to be smaller in scale or more traditional in structure than 
in the rest of Germany. In 1907 36.6% of those Bavarians employed in 
industry worked in large businesses, 24.8% in medium-sized businesses. 



16 



and 38.6% In small buKines.ses; the comparable figures for the nation 
as a wliolc were ''.5.5Z, 23.07., and 29.5%. Urbanization simUarly lag^;ed 
Althouj^li Munich and Nuremberg; experienced substantial j;rowtli in the 
two decades prior to the First World War, neither city witnessed the 
population explosion which transformed Berlin and the cities of the 
Ruhr. As Germany leaped headlong into the 20th Century, Bavaria ambled 
comfortably out of the 19th. 

Different political and social attitudes accompanied these struc- 
tural differences. Bavarians tended to be more conservative than other 
Germans. Bavarian Social Democracy, which had become a significant 
political force by the turn of the century, had its own highly distinc- 
tive "white-blue" cast. Remarking upon this in 1903, August Bebel 
described Munich as the "Capua of German Social Democracy," and 
expressed his fear for the political soul of any Social Democrat who 
went wandering in the land of the beer mugs.'' The role and influence 
of the Catholic church further helped to maintain the distance between 
Bavaria and the Protestant north. In short, Bavaria remained an entity 
in many ways unto itself, and Bavarians of the pre-war generation grew 
up with a sense of "otherness" to conflict with their sense of being 
German. This attitude had a vital impact on politics in Bavaria in the 
years to follow. 



'>The preceding discussion does not take into account local vari- 
ations within Bavaria. Some areas, particularly in Franconia, departed 
from this pattern. In the very special case of the Rhenish Palatinate 
these variations were substantial. Such variations will be discussed 
in greater detail as they bear on the narrative. 



17 



With the outbreak of war in 1914, Ernst Pohner joined in the 
Rencrnl rush to the colors, ncceptinp a commission as an Infantry officer, 

Q 

ile successively commanded a company, a battalion, and a regiment. 
As was the case for many Bavarians who saw military service, I'ohner 
found that the shared experience of front-line action brought him 
closer to Germans from other regions. Similarly, the mobilization of 
resources on the home front brought economic and social conditions 
in Bavaria more closely into line with those prevalent throughout the 
rest of Germany. The pace of industrialization accelerated in the 
leading cities of Bavaria. Munich's pre-war industry, heavily 
oriented toward the production of specialty items for the export 
market, underwent a severe dislocation at the war's outbreak. This 
soon gave way, however, to the growth which accompanied the establish- 
ment of heavy industries for war production. The growth of war 
industry, in turn, brought to Munich a steady flow of skilled workers 
from the north, altering both the social and political make-up of 
the city's population. Even before the war the pace of industrial- 
ization in Nuremberg had been high, more comparable, indeed, to that 
of cities in other states than to those of Bavaria. The war reinforced 
this tendency, confirming Nuremberg's place among the leading industrial 
cities of Germany. The other major cities in Bavaria all followed, 
in broad outline, this overall pattern. But if the war brought 
Bavaria more closely into step with the rest of Germany, the revolutions 
of November 1918 and the months of upheaval which followed badly 
disturbed the rhythm of the march. 



18 



On the afternoon of November 7, 1918, a large crowd assembled on 
Municli's Thcrcsicnwicsc , the iiiL-ndow-park Just south of the city's CLMiter, 
The crowd had gathered to demonstrate for peace. By evening the demon- 
stration had grown into a revolt, and by the following morning the 
revolution was an accomplished fact. King Ludwig III had disappeared 
into the night, and the state authority had been taken into the unlikely 
hands of Kurt Eisner, the leader of the Independent Social Democratic 
Party (USPD) in Bavaria. Working in ill-fitting harness with the 
Majority Social Democrats (SPD) under the leadership of Erhard Auer, 
Eisner sought to establish a republic in Bavaria.* The initial 
transformation had taken place with a minimum of bloodshed. The state 
bureaucracy placed itself, however grudgingly, at the service of the 
new regime. Amidst the echoes of change emanating from every corner 
of Germany, Eisner, Auer, and their respective followers set out to 

-I o 

mold the old Bavaria in a new image. 

From the perspective of years the subsequent tale assumes the 
dimensions of tragedy. Eisner's support had been based upon widespread 
unity on a single issue— the desire for peace. With the Armistice this 
unity dissolved, and the old party structures of Bavarian politics 
re-emerged to test the changed political conditions. By mid-January it 
had become apparent that Eisner was a leader without followers. The 
state parliamentary elections held on January 12 demonstrated that 
real popular support rested with Auer's SPD and with the Bavarian 



*These two socialist factions issued from the 1917 split in the 
German Social Democratic Party. 



19 



People's Party (BVP) , the reconstituted Bavarian branch of the Center 

]3 
Party. These parties had dominated state politics since the beginning 

of the century, and seemed ready to resume their old roles in the new 

republican setting. With the Landtag elections over, tlie prospects for 

an early return to business as usual, the moderate Right against the 

moderate Left, were encouraging. And then disaster struck. 

On the morning of February 21, 1919, as Kurt Eisner was making 
his way to the Landtag to announce his resignation, he was assassinated 
by Count Anton Arco-Valley. An hour later a partisan of Eisner strode 
into the parliament building and shot down Ernard Auer, leaving him 
seriously wounded. The motives which led Arco-Valley to the murder of 
Eisner have never been revealed. Certainly, he was in no way a 
supporter of Auer and the Social Democrats; the shots of revenge which 
took Auer out of politics for almost two years were aimed in the 
wrong direction. 

If the causes of the crime remained unclear, its effects were 
only too easy to see. On the eve of the assassination a coalition 
cabinet headed by Auer and the Social Democrats was ready to assume 
power, with the BVP as its principal opposition. For these parties 
the revolution had only served to confirm the process of reform which 
had been brought to fruition in the last days of the monarchy. But 
Auer's wounds deprived this coalition of an effective and moderate 
leader, one who could have held his own forces together while dealing 



20 



reasonably with the conservative opposition. And Eisner's martyrdom 
rejuvenated tlic radical Left, destroying all lioiie for a speedy return 
to normality. The first attempts to form a government after Llie 
assassination ended in failure. Auer'a successor, Johannes Hoffmann, 
finally assumed the leadership of an SPD-dominated cabinet on March 19. 
By then it was too late. 

The assassination of Eisner had worked as a solvent upon the 
political consensus, such as it was, in Bavaria. The Hoffmann 
government found itself caught between the advance of radicalism on 
both the right and the left. The first round in the struggle went to 
the radical Left. No longer able to maintain itself in Munich, the 
Hoffmann government decamped on April 7, eventually coming to rest in 
the northern Bavarian city of Bamberg. Authority in Munich was assumed 
successively by two councils, the first led by an ill-assorted collection 
of Independent Socialists and anarchists, the second by the Communists. 
For the month of April Munich was ruled by these "Soviets" (the German 
word Rate , for "councils," was adopted in direct emulation of the 
Russian model) . 

Outside Munich, and particularly to the north, conservative forces, 
army and Free Corps, gathered to overthrow the Communist regime in 
Munich. Although nominally the agents of the Hoffmann government, they 
were much more its masters, the sole possessors of effective power. 
The contestants in the struggle for power, the radical Left and the 
radical Right moved to center stage, reducing the duly-constituted 
Hoffmann government to a spectator's role. 



21 



By the end of April the feeble Red forces had been pressed back 
into the environs of Mimicli itself. At tiiis moment, with their backs 
Lo the wail, cIcmenLs of l.l:e "Red Army" execiiLed Len hos ta^c-'-! • ^i'>mv 
of Liie iiosLaj'os were members of tlie riglit radical Tliiile Society; otliers 
appeared to have been selected almost at random. None of the ten, 
however, had done anything to earn so terrible a retribution. With 
one gratuitous act, the leftist defenders of Munich had opened the 
floodgates of violence. The aroused Ii/hite forces poured into the city 
on May 1, bent upon the eradication of the Bavarian Soviet Republic 
and its supporters — in the most literal sense imaginable. The hardened 
Free Corps and army troops coursed through the streets of the city, 
shooting anyone who appeared even remotely suspicious. The orgy of 
execution did not stop until May 7, when it was discovered that the 
I'Jhite forces had mistakenly murdered a group of 21 Catholic schoolboys. 
These schoolboys were by no means the only innocents who fell before the 
guns. Before this first wave of killing had come to an end over six 
hundred individuals had been slain, many of them individuals with 
no connection to the "Red Army" or the Soviet Republic. The revolution 
which had begun so peacefully six months before had ended in a blood 
bath; "order" had returned to Bavaria. 

The events of April and May 1919 set the tone of Bavarian 
politics in the years to follow. A rightward tendency had already 
become evident during the war years; the Soviet episode and its 



22 



traumatic consequences brought this tendency into the political 
mninstrcnin. Although the most salient horrors of the period liad been 
committed by the Wlri tc "liberators" of Municli, responsibility for the 
tragedy was laid liy most iiavarians at the feet of tlie leftist parties. 
Little distinction would be made between the actual adherents of the 
Soviet Republic and other leftists, including those moderate Social 
Democrats who had actively opposed the Soviet excesses. Such distinc- 
tions were too fine for the popular mood. In the aftermath of 
revolution Bavaria became the center of counter-revolutionary 
radicalism in Germany and the focal point around which hostility to 
the new republic would gather. The moderate Hoffmann government would 
remain in office for almost another year, but real power would reside 
in the military and paramilitary forces and the political organizations 
of the moderate and radical right. These groups would determine the 
course of Bavarian politics for the next four years, and their 
influence would be felt for many years thereafter. The lodestar in 
the new Bavarian political constellation would be fear and hatred of 
Marxism, of all forms of international socialism, and of republicanism, 
along with a festering anti-Semitism — several leaders of the Soviet 
Republic had been Jewish. In short, the dominant attitude in Bavarian 

politics after 1919 would be hostility to the revolution in all of its 

18 
political and social manifestations. 

At this moment, when "order" headed the list of Bavarian political 

desiderata, Ernst Pohner stepped to the center of the political stage. 



23 



Returning from military service to a world turned topsy-turvy by 
revolution, Pohncr's reliction had been one of rage. lie desiviscd 
those officials who continued to serve under the Eisner regime. Yet, 
ironically, I'dluier soon found liiniself in the same position as the 
director of Munich's Stadelheim prison— a position he would hold 
from January 10, 1919 until the demise of the Soviet Republic. One 
may accept Pohner's claim that he assumed the post only at the behest 
of a trusted old friend and civil service superior, as well as his 
claim to have carried out his duties in a spirit of defiance to the 
party in power. But Pohner's ability to advance such justifications 
for himself, while denying their validity for others, offered an 
insight into the character of the man. Pohner, at age forty-nine, 
was a man of imposing stature and austere coutenance, of formidable 
intelligence, iron will, and unquestioned personal courage. He was 
also politically single-minded to the point of self-righteousness, 
doggedly anti-Marxist, and virulently anti-Semitic. These qualities 
commended Pohner to the military authorities in charge of liquidating 
the Soviet Republic and led them to appoint him to head the Polizei- 
direktion Miinchen (the Munich police force, hereafter PDM).^^ 

On May 5, 1919 Pohner took up his position as Police President. 
In so doing he attained control over the most important police agency 
in the entire state and an impressive base of personal political power. 
The PDM originated in the first decades of the 19th Century, but only 



24 



began to assume its modern structure toward the end of that century. 
Prior to 186i tlie I'DM consisted of little more than an urban gendarmerie. 
Only a tiny "Security Bureau" performed ttie spcciaMzcd detection 
and intelligence functions of a modern police organization. In 1867 
this office still had fewer than a dozen personnel. Expansion and 
successive internal reorganizations in 1873, 1879, and 1896 established 
the general organizational patterns which would dominate into the Weimar 

era. These patterns were set in the table of organization of September 

9 n 
1, 1913, which remained in effect, with amendments, until 1932. In 

assessing the dimensions of Pohner's new domain, this 1913 table of 

organization deserved careful attention. 

The 1913 decree called for the subdivision of the PDM into eight 

departments. Department I was the Kriminalpolizei , the criminal 

detective squad. Its primary task was the investigation of murder, 

robbery, and other crimes against persons and property. Department II 

supervised a variety of internal administrative tasks, including the 

operation of the police lock-up. It was also charged with the control 

of male beggars and vagrants. Department III dealt with morals 

offenses and juvenile delinquency, an administrative unity common in 

European police practice. Its responsibilities included the supervision 

and control of female beggars and vagrants, of prostitutes and pimps, 

and of homosexuals. It was also concerned with the location and return 



*The term used in the 1913 table of organization is Referat ; the 

terra Abteilung was substituted later. In both Instances the best English 

equivalent equivalent is "department," which will be used throughout. 



25 



of missing children and runaways, with combatting the traffic in 
children :Mid other forms of wlii te slavery, and with all other police 
matters relating to minors. Department IV had as its jirimary task 
llie iiM i ntenani-e of records, Including tlie registration of adtlresses 
(again in accordance with normal Continental practice whereby all 
residents must register their address and all changes of address with 
the police), the provision of passports, and the supervision of 
resident aliens and tourists. Health and medical matters, including 
the collection and transport of corpses, were handled by Department V. 
Department VII dealt with traffic, building permits, and other 
miscellaneous chores. Department VIII was the Schutzmannschaf t , the 
body of uniformed patrolmen. Department VI was the political police.^"'' 

The tasks of the political police, as defined by the 1913 decree, 
were threefold: the observation of political activity, the administrative 
control of this activity, and the investigation of crimes of a political 
nature. Specific assignments included the observation and control of 
the press, or demonstrations and public gatherings and of the theaters 
(in conjunction with other departments); the control of political 
activity among resident aliens, of strikes (in the 1913 decree these 
were still termed "worker revolts") and of lockouts; counter-espionage 
in cooperation with the military authorities; and the investigation of 
treason cases. During the First World War and tlie years following, 
tasks were added to tlie list: the supervision of the Border Police, 



26 



undercover .surveillance of rail and air passengers, desertion, and 

Llie police radio service, wliicli connected the PPM with otlier police 

22 
agencies in Bavaria and the other German states. 

To facilitate the performance of its mission, PDM VI was sub- 
divided into five Dienststellen , indentified by the letters a, b, c, d, 
and N. The various duties of the department were apportioned among 
the five Dienststellen (hereafter "desks," the closest equivalent in 
standard English or American police usage). Desk Via provided the 
headquarters staff for the entire department, coordinated the work of 
the political police with the other departments of the PDM and with 
other police agencies, and carried out the actual investigation of 
political crimes, in all cases save espionage, the special province of 
the counterespionage police of Desk VIb. Desk Vic performed the more 
mundane function of administrating the various regulations governing 
the press. Perhaps appropriately, the activities of this desk consisted 
largely of routine paperwork. Desk VId maintained the register of 
political parties and organizations — all such groups had to be registered 
in conformance with statute law. It supervised public and private 
political gatherings and controlled all political demonstrations. 
Under this heading it also concerned itself with those cultural, economic, 
and business organizations whose activities had a political dimension. 
The fifth desk, VI/N, was a creation of the Pohner era. VI/N was the 



'■^The use of lower-case letters for the first four and an upper-case for 
the fifth follows the standard practice at the PDM for the period 
1919-1932. 



27 



political intelligence service, charged with the overt and covert 
observation of the radical political movements and with the preparation 
of regular reports concerning the activities of these movements. 
Under the leadersliip of tlie Police I'resident, his principal 
subordinate, the Police Director, and the presidial staff, the eight 
main departments of the PDM performed the primary police functions 
within the city of Munich. But the role of the PDM was not limited 
to Munich alone. Although its formal position remained that of a simple 
municipal agency until 1933, theoretically in no way superior to any 
other such agency in Bavaria, in practice it had already by 1913 begun 
to acquire the status of a central coordinating office for police 
matters throughout the state. In 1899 it had become the central office 
for the surveillance of gypsies. In 1911 it became the state-wide 
collection center for fingerprints. A 1912 decree gave the PDM similar 
responsibility in the area of counterfeiting. The most important of 
these measures, however, came in 1904, with a decree establishing the 
PDM as the Bavarian central office for counterespionage activities, a 

step presaging the extension of the PDM's political police role through- 

24 
out the entire state. 

The outbreak of the First World War lent a special significance 
to the counterespionage mission, and helped accustom Bavarian authorities 
at every level to the extraordinary position of the PDM. In wartime 
the tasks of the counterespionage officers of PDM VIb were many and 



28 



varied. Working alongside the counterespionage section of military 
intelligence, the central office devised strategems to expose the 
operations of Entente spies and saboteurs. It served as a clearing- 
house for counterespionage information, and coordinated the efforts 
of police agencies in every part of the state. Finally, as the 
war dragged on and war weariness increased, the central office 
received orders to investigate the leakage of government documents 
whose publication might harm public morale, lead to political disorders, 
or diminish Germany's image in the eyes of neutrals. The measures 
undertaken by PDM VIb pursuant to this order established an important 
precedent for the use of the counterespionage central office as the 
executor of explicitly political tasks. This precedent would contribute 

materially to the postwar expansion of the PDM's political police 

1 • .u 25 
role m other areas. 

The importance of the office of Police President found its 

basis in developments such as this. Ernst Pohner was well aware of 

tlie potential power of his new position. But before this potential 

could be fully realized, a purging and rebuilding operation would 

have to take place. If the war had strengthened the powers of the 

Munich police, it had also weakened it in terms of personnel, as 

scores of experienced officers were drawn away into military service. 

The successive regimes of the revolutionary period had further weakened 

the PDM, by introducing politically undesirable officers. The political 



29 



police had suffered a particularly heavy blow during the last days of 
the Soviet Republic. As the White forces pressed to the outskirts 
of Munich, the police lieadqnartcrs i)uilding was torn inside out, /it 
least partially in an effort by the Soviet autiiorities — insofar as 
authority can be said to have existed in this final stage of collapse — 
to destroy or disorder the personal files accumulated over a score 

9 A 

of years by the political police. Pohner took immediate steps to 
put his new house in order. The destruction within the headquarters 
building was repaired, and the police files were laboriously 
reconstituted. Officers suspected of too-ready collaboration with 
the revolutionary regimes — including, ironically, the regime of 
Johannes Hoffmann, still nominally the ruling government in Bavaria — 
were removed from their posts. Pohner moved quickly to fill key 
administrative positions with politically reliable and experienced 
civil servants. He gave particular attention to his choice of an 
officer to head Department VI — the leader of the political police, 
after all, would be his most important single subordinate. Within 
a week of assuming office he entrusted this post to Dr. Wilhelm Frick. 

Frick, like Pohner, had come up through the ranks of the royal 
civil service. From 1907 to 1917 Frick had been a county assessor 
( Bezirksamtsassessor ) in the town of Pirmasens. In 1917 he was trans- 
ferred to the PDM to head the War Profiteering Office. He stayed at 
the PDM throughout the remainder of the war and during the revolutionary 
period which followed. Frick, nonetheless, made little secret of his 



30 



hostility to the revolution, and thus earned the enmity of the 
rcvolutionnry aiKiiori t i es — a powcM-rul ondorsomont in Pohner's oyos. 
The two men soon found tliat Lliey had much else in common. Both were 
amhitlous. Both sliared the same political views. hater, wlien Frici^ 
had become a leading Nazi and Hitler's Minister of the Interior, he 
would be satirically described as the "Royal Bavarian Nazi," a 
characterization which captured the combination of traditional 
conservativism and counterrevolutionary radicalism exemplified by Frick 
and Pohner. Together these two men would shape the political department 
of the PDM in their own image. 

Even as the rehabilitation of the PDM continued, Pohner and Frick 
joined the military in eliminating the last vestiges of the Soviet 
Republic. With the passing of the first week of May, wholesale and 
often indiscriminate massacre gave place to a more systematic process 
of suppression. Department VI of the PDM, working alongside a 
specially created political police section of the military headquarters 
staff, undertook the job of sifting through the mountains of denunciatory 
letters, identifying and locating those adherents of the Soviet Republic 
still at large, and coordinating the work of the soldiers and policemen 
who made the actual arrests. Serving as liaison officer between the 
military headquarters and the PDM was a pre-war member of the Munich 
political police, Dr. Christian Roth— the first of his many appearances 
in the role of ally to Pohner and Frick. The flood of arrests proceeded 
apace. The number of prisoners taken into custody far exceeded the 



31 



capacity of Munich's jails and prisons, and not even the highly summary 
course of justice could move rapidly enougli to reduce the overcrowded 
conditions. Temporary prisons were erected in schools and other 
public buildings. The treatment of prisoners was at best callous and 
frequently viciously brutal, l^Jhen room could no longer be found in 
Munich, prisoners were transported to the city of Ingolstadt, a 
garrison town some fifty miles away. Still the denunciations, house 

searches, and arrests continued, abating only gradually during the month 

29 
of June. Finally, by the end of the summer, the new regime had 

firmly established itself. The Hoffmann government returned from 

Bamberg to Munich; the real masters in Bavaria would tolerate its 

existence for yet a while longer. 

In looking back to the events of the summer of 1919, Wilhelm 

Frick took particular pride in two of the PDM's accomplishments. One 

was, of course, its contribution to cleansing Munich of undesirable 

30 
political elements. The other was the creation of the fifth desk 

within Department VI, the political intelligence service. This desk, 

created in response to the needs of the summer, had proved its worth. 

With it, Frick expressed confidence in his ability to prevent the 

31 
recurrence of another Soviet episode. For his own part, Pohner 

professed himself highly pleased with the performance of Frick and his 

political policemen. In a year-end report to the Bavarian Ministry of 

Interior, Pohner expressed his pride in the work of the political police 

and his confidence that this organization would continue to grow in 

. ... 32 
significance. 



32 



This confidence was scarcely misplaced. Before such growth could 
occur, however, certain obstacles had to be removed. The suppression 
of the Soviet Republic had spawned a welter of political information 
services in Municli and other parts of Bavaria. Allies though these 
agencies might be in the struggle against the Left, they were frequently 
bitter rivals in the bureaucratic struggle for authority. To understand 
this struggle, one must first of all understand something of the 
competitors and of the bureaucratic field on which the game was played. 

Although Bavarian officials made much of the federalist idea in 
their dealings with the national government, authority within Bavaria 
itself was highly centralized. The people elected the Landtag or state 
parliament; the Landtag selected the governing ministry. This cabinet, 
in turn, stood at the head of an extensive administrative bureaucracy, 
which conducted the actual business of governing. The most important 
agency of internal administration was the Ministry of the Interior, 
which stood at the apex of the bureaucratic pyramid. The intermediate 
administrative unit was the province ( Regierungsbezirk ) , at whose head 
stood an appointive provincial president; Bavaria was divided into eight 
such provinces. At the base of the pyramid were the Bezirksamter , the 
offices which administered the smallest unit of governmental authority, 
roughly equivalent to an American county. The larger cities stood to 
one side of this administrative pyramid, with their own elective 
municipal governments and their own police forces (rural areas were 
policed by the gendarmerie, a state agency which for executive purposes 



33 



was normally controlled from the county offices). Final authority in 
internal security matters, however, rested with the Ministry of the 
Interior and, ultimately, with the cahinet. The Ministry of the Interior 
could assume control of the municipal police forces during a state of 
emergency by appointing a special commissioner for this purpose. 
Similar emergency powers could be vested in the provincial presidents. 
Although the PDM's position conformed outwardly to this overall pattern, 
its special relationship to the Ministry of the Interior was assured 
through its assigned central office functions and the practice of 
designating the Police President as a special commissioner . "^"^ 

Each of the above mentioned agencies performed certain political 
police functions. In addition to their regular duties, the gendarmerie 
stations in the countryside were responsible for observing political 
activities in their area and reporting on such activities to the 
respective county offices. Each county office had a political officer 
(in the smaller offices, of course, this duty might be one of several 
performed by a single official), who reported, in turn, to the political 
officer in the provincial presidium. Each of the presidia prepared 
fortnightly reports on the political situation in the province for 
the Ministry of the Interior. These fortnightly reports were 
customarily general situation reports— in a sense, a form of public 
opinion research. Only rarely did they draw upon covert sources. Still, 

such basic research was an indispensable component of political police 

34 
operations. 



34 



The various municipal police agencies also possessed political 
police sections, whose functions on the municipnl level paralleled 
tliosc already outlined for the PDM. In theory, the political police 
in the cities were responsible to the elected city governments; 
outside of Munich, practice corresponded with theory. After 1919, 
however, the Interior Ministry would use the device of the special 
commissioner to remove the political police from the control of a 
city council whose politics differed from that of the state government. 

The most noteworthy example of this practice occurred in Nuremberg 

35 
in 1920. In the case of Munich, Police President Pohner rarely 

recognized any power higher than himself, and never the power of the 

left-leaning city government. His successors, while more willing 

to acknowledge their dual responsibility to city and state, also tended 

to exploit the special status of the PDM to retain their independence 

vis-a-vis the city authorities— easy to do since the police section of 

the Ministry of the Interior preferred this arrangement."^^ 

Other state agencies, the armed forces, and a variety of private 

and semi-private groups also conducted political police operations. 

The first of these agencies was the Polizeistelle Nordbavern ("Police 

Office for Northern Bavaria," hereafter PSNB) . The flight of the 

Landtag and the Hoffmann cabinet from Munich to Bamberg had created 

special police problems in that city. The security of the state 

government itself had to be assured. Having, in effect, been evicted 

from its own capital, with its hold on state authority tenuous at best. 



35 



the government wanted to avoid being caught by another revolution. Cut 
off from the PDM, the Ministry of the Interior set about the task of 
creaLing a Liiiipora ry rep I ac;einciU In llaiiiberg . iiins, a special political 
police section was establisiied within the Ministry, charged with 
overseeing the actual physical security of the government, with 
the surveillance of the political situation in the Bamberg area, and, 



mo 



st important of all, with anticipating any further revolutionary 

oo 

disturbances. During the government's Bamberg exile, these tasks 
were successfully performed. 

Plans for the government's return to Munich on August 15, however, 
raised the question of the office's continued existence. After a series 
of discussions during the month of July, a special commission appointed 
by the Interior Minister recommended the authorization of a permanent 

state police office in Bamberg, to carry on the work of the police 

39 
section. The arguments advanced by the commission revealed much about 

the government's current conception of the political police mission. 

The report first called attention to the circumstances which had led 

to the government's transfer to Bamberg, and expressed concern for the 

possibility of yet another leftist uprising in Munich. With this fear 

before them, the commission's members suggested that the government 

should take special care to ensure the continued availability of 

Bamberg as a place of refuge. The report concluded that the existing 

police agencies in northern Bavaria were unsuited to the task of 

controlling the activities of left-wing radicals in the region. A secret 



36 



police intelligence service, capable of operating throughout the area 
and of coordinating the information from city, county, and military 
sources, could better fill this need. For administrative purposes this 
office would be regarded as a brancli of the PDM. The Ministry of the 
Interior concurred in the commission's findings, and on September 13 the 
PSNB was officially established by ministerial decree. Within two 
months the new office was producing regular weekly reports on the 
activities of the radical movements in northern Bavaria. These reports 
were circulated to the PDM, the police referent in the Ministry of the 
Interior, Josef Zetlmeier, and the military staffs in Munich and Nuremberg. 
Although professionally objective in tone, the reports reflected in 
content the government's predominant concern with the revolutionary Left."^^ 

Yet another state agency maintained a political police service, 
the state Polizeiwehr , reorganized some months after its creation in 
1919 and renamed Landespolizei . The Landespolizei , or LaPo as it was 
usually called, was organized along military lines in companies, 
battalions, and regiments, and equipped with military small arms and 
machine guns. Its primary purpose was the preservation of public 
order, and it was specifically viewed as the state's main line of defense 
against armed Insurrection. In pursuit of this mission the LaPo built 
its own intelligence service, which operated both internally, as a 
check against political subversion within the ranks of the LaPo, and 
in the community at large through its own network of informers. 



37 



Military endeavors in this field grew out of the army's deployment 
in this suppression of the Soviet Repuhlic. The existing intelligence 
staffs merely redirected their efforts toward a new enemy. Later, 
special sections for political police purposes were attached to the 
General Staff of Army Group 4 in Munich and the staff of the 24th 
Brigade in Nuremberg. These sections, too, combined an interest in 
the threat of subversion within the ranks with activities directed at 
the civilian community. They contributed still another set of weekly 
situation reports to the already extensive list, reports based upon 
the information supplied by yet one more string of agents, '^'^ 

Were this not enough, the Civic Guard, a semi-official militia 
of distinctly right-wing orientation, added more agents and more reports. ^^ 
This boom market in political intelligence was further served by a 
variety of private entrepreneurs, such as the Wirtschaf tspolitische 
Nachrichtenstelle Tank (Economic and Political Information Service Tank). 
"Tank," as it was usually called, supplied economic and political 
intelligence to the political section at Army Group 4 headquarters, which 
then distributed copies to the PDM and other state agencies. Although 
"Tank" prepared conventional situation reports, it was unique in that 
it also allowed the circulation of the actual agents' reports, a 
noteworthy lapse from accepted professional standards. These agent 
reports allowed an outsider a glimpse at the underworld of political 
police operations, the world of the paid informer. ^^ 



38 



'Tank" began its work in June 1919; Its reports, In a sense, 
iiuiy he viewed as a more ordered eontinuatJon of the wave of political 
denunciations in May. Some of the reports were simply sordid stori^'s 
oT l)(,-traya!. OLliers were dull and inconsequential. Occasionally, a 
"Tank" report would be ludicrous to the point of black humor. A July 
1919 report chronicled the actions of an agent in Munich's Schwabing 
district, then renowned as the home of the city's artists and literati . 
The denizens of this district were regarded with deep suspicion by 
the conservative officers and civil servants in power, a fact that the 
agent apparently chose to exploit. After much cloak and dagger 
derring-do, lovingly chronicled in the agent's report, the agent 
concluded that he had uncovered three "undoubted members of the 
Bolshevik elite." The evidence he managed to produce in this report, 
however, admitted of a variety of alternative conclusions, ranging 
from the possibility that the three men were simply army officers in 
mufti, out for a night on the town, to the equally likely conclusion 
that they were agents of one of the other political intelligence services. 
Certainly, with the number of agents and informers being run by various 
groups at this time, the odds in favor of their tripping over one another 
were great. 

Not surprisingly, the professional political policemen viewed the 
work of "Tank" with considerable skepticism, and sometimes outright 
contempt. One generously observed that the reports had, at first, been 
useful, but had quickly deteriorated in quality; another officer dismissed 



39 



them as "not to be taken seriously . "^^ A third political policeman 
saw the "Tank" reports as symptomatic of a larger problem, the Rrowinf. 
traffic in agents' reports, a traffic fed by tlie venality of many 
informers and the competition among the intelligence agencies/'^ 
Informers would sell the same information to more than one agency, 
or milk their controlling officer with reports conjured out of thin 
air. Worse, the plethora of competing intelligence services meant 
that no secrets were safe— including the secrets of these services 
themselves . 

Political intelligence flowed from too many sources and was of 
too varied quality and reliability. Systematic evaluation of 
material and the careful coordination of action suffered as well. 
Finally, the responsible authorities could not count upon the timely 
receipt of the kind of information upon which decision could be made. 
In the aftermath of the revolutionary upheaval, when too many tasks 
claimed attention, no steps were taken to rectify this problem. But 
ongoing crisis and fear kept perceptions of the need for a more central- 
ized political police network alive. 

One of Police President Pohner's preoccupations during this phase 
was the elimination of the Social Democrats from the government of 
Bavaria. The continuation of the Hoffmann government at the head of a 
state whose actual policies were determined by anti-socialist officers 
and civil servants was, for Pohner and his compatriots, an anomaly 
which cried out for removal. After months of behind-the-scenes 



40 



machination, the Kapp putsch provided the occasion for a move against 
tlie remaining symbol of the November revolution. The attempt by 
monarchist-conservative elements to overthrow tlie republican j-ovcrnment 
ill lUTJIn ro.nuiered on ihe rock of a general s Ir i la- led by the repui)lic's 
defenders. This strike, so effective in routing the Kapp conspirators 
in the north, had precisely the reverse effect in Munich. Under pressure 
from Pohner and Gustav von Kahr, the Provincial President of Upper 
Bavaria, the army leadership delivered a vote of no confidence to 
Hoffmann, claiming that it could no longer be responsible for security 
and order so long as his government remained in office. Hoffmann 
bowed to this representation and resigned from office. With the support 
of Pohner, the Civic Guard, and the eminence grise of the BVP , 
Dr. Georg Helm, Kahr became the new Minister President of Bavaria. 
This step ushered in a new era in Bavarian politics, an era frequently 

identified through its two leading political figures— the Kahr-Pohner 

50 
era. 

In the midst of his involvement with high politics, Pohner did not 
forget about the political police— quite the contrary. He recognized 
fully their importance to his omi power position. Writing on April 5, 
1920, to the Ministry of the Interior, he commended the staff of the 
PDM's political department for its outstanding performance during the 
Kapp putsch. The precise nature of this "outstanding performance" was 
unspecified in Pohner's commendation, although Pohner's own activities 
at the time might suggest that it had to do with the overthrow of the 



41 



Hoffmann cabinet. That Pohner attached a special value to the contri- 
bution of Department VT , however, was beyond question, for Iris 
commendation was accompanied by a request to the Ministry for extra 
funds with whirl) to reward his poUtieal po 1 icemen. '^^ 

Having established himself more firmly at the center of power, 
Pohner could devote more attention to putting right the problems which 
beset the political intelligence service. These problems, evidently, 
had not receded with the consolidation of the new regime. On October 
18, 1920 Wilhelm Frick circulated a letter on the subject to his 
counterparts in the provincial presidia and at the PSNB. In it he 
raised the issue of reorganizing the political intelligence services 
in Bavaria, and issued an invitation to a meeting on this subject to be 
hosted by the PDM. Six weeks later, on December 7, Pdhner convened 
this meeting in the library of the PDM. Gathered under conditions of 
tight security were representatives of the provincial governments, the 
LaPo, the PSNB, and the PDM's Department VI. 

Pohner opened the meeting with a few remarks concerning the weak- 
nesses in the existing system of gathering and evaluating political 
information. The present structure, in his view, could not supply the 
necessary information when and where it was needed. He proposed 
substantial changes, the details of which would be explained by his 
aide, Frick. With a reminder that the proposal about to be presented 
was highly confidential, he yielded the floor to Frick. After a short 
historical summary, in which he laid the blame for the revolutionary 



42 



disturbances of 1918-1929 upon the lack of effective political 
surveillance, Frlck turned to a discussion of the contemporary situation. 
The PDM had already consolidated its own efforts under Desk VT/N. 
Til is, Iiowever, had not solved the main jTrohlem — too many agencies had 
their fingers in the intelligence pie. Until the duplication of effort 
had been eliminated, the quality of the political intelligence product 
could not be improved. The military, in particular, had caused 
problems through its invasion of the civilian sphere of responsibility. 
In the future military operations would have to be confined to the 
control of subversion within the ranks. This measure by itself, however, 
would not achieve the desired result. Frick thus proposed the creation 
of a new statewide political intelligence network. 

Prick's proposal placed PDM Vl/N, the political information 
service, at the center of the new organization. It would serve as the 
coordinating body for the entire state and simultaneously as the 
collection and dissemination center for the three provinces of southern 
Bavaria. It would, of course, also retain direct responsibility for 
Munich proper. Between the political information service of the PDM 
and the four provinces of northern Bavaria stood the main state police 
office in that region, the PSNB. It would serve as the collection and 
dissemination center for these four provinces. The local agencies 
would gather information through the overt observation of public 
political activity and through covert surveillance with paid agents and 
voluntary informers. Local agencies, naturally, could act directly on 



43 



information of purely local significance, but all information was to 
be passed to tlie desiRnatcd collection centers. There U would be 
evaluated and then distributed throughout tlie system in a ref;ular 
series of compreliensive situation reports. Requests for information 
from the Ministry of the Interior or from the various local agencies 
would likewise be routed through the centers. ^^ 

After completing his proposal Frick invited discussion. All 
participants agreed on the importance of centralization. The discussion 
revolved around the prospect of continued liaison difficulties with 
the military, the question of cooperation with the LaPo, and the 
problem of finding suitable agents. The last of these provoked the 
most concern. The representative of the Provincial President of Upper 
Franconia piously suggested that dealing with paid undercover agents 
was beneath the dignity of the provincial authorities; the PSNB could 
adquately handle this dirty business in northern Bavaria. Frick pointed 
to the existence of private political information groups, employed by 
industrial concerns— an obvious reference to the "Tank" organization— 
and complained that such groups often prepared intelligence reports 
only to earn money. They would frequently accept employment from 
more than one master at the same time. In order to avoid these 
intelligence mercenaries, it would be absolutely essential that the 
identities of all agents be filed with the Munich center. The problem 
was not simply one of wasting secret funds; more seriously, the 
reports of such agents could not be relied upon for accuracy, nor could 



44 



one fully trust such an ny^vnt—:m agent who would servo two masters 
mip.ht also serve three, and the third one mij'lit he the politiral 
enemy. Pc'.'hner underscored I'rJek's ohservations with the sententious 
pronouncement that in these matters the watchword must be "For the 
Fatherland." The meeting closed with a number of issues left open, 
not least among them the question of finances. ^^ Nothing definite had 
been decided, but the issues had been thoroughly aired. With few 
reservations the new organizational plan had been found acceptable. 
Significantly, no one at the meeting challenged the assumption 
that the police should keep a close watch upon political activity. Only 
three years before, in the midst of war, revelations concerning 
police surveillance of private citizens had provoked a furor in Munich, 
and forced the government into a defensive posture. ^^ This, in part, 
accounted for the secrecy of the December 7 meeting. More fundamentally, 
the political climate had changed since 1917— what had been controversial 
before the revolution had since gained widespread acceptance. It was 
likewise significant that the central role assigned to the PDM in the 
new proposal went unchallenged at the meeting; implementation of the 
proposal would deliver unparalleled power into the hands of Pohner and 
Frick, since all political intelligence would be filtered through their 
hands, and theirs alone. One can only conclude that those present at 
the meeting shared fully the political goals of Pohner and Frick, and 
were willing to accept their accretion of power. 



45 



Despite Prick's insistence that the issue was "burning," two 
years elapsed before the centralization proposal received formal 
ministerial sanction. Titis, however, was scarcely necessary — the 
informal agreement reached among the parties at tlie December 7 meeting 
sufficed as a basis for further developments. Pohner and Frick 
could thus concentrate on their other political goals. 

Gustav von Kahr's accession to power in March 1920 soon 
brought the Bavarian government into direct conflict with the national 
government in Berlin. The issue frequently appeared in the guise of 
disagreement between Bavarian federalism and the unitary impulses of 
the Reich leadership. Kahr thus presented himself as a defender of 
the rights of the states against the encroachment of the central 
government. This constitutional conflict, however, masked in high- 
flown rhetoric the substantive issues of the struggle. Kahr and 
his political allies—most notably Pohner and the state Minister of 
Justice, Christian Roth— despised the moderate left-wing government 
in Berlin as a creature of the revolution and an affront to the 
sensibilities of all right-thinking Germans. If this government could 
not be readily toppled, as the Kapp putsch had proven, then at least 
its influence could be halted at the borders of Bavaria. ^^ 

Matters came to a head over the issue of the Civic Guard. The 
Reich government, pressed by the Entente powers, insisted upon the 
disarmament of this paramilitary body. The Kahr regime, whose political 
base in Bavaria in part rested upon the allegiance of the Civic Guard, 



46 



repeatedly refused to comply. While Kahr argued with Berlin, Pohner 
and Roth exploited their positions at the center of tlie police and 
judicial administrations to frustrate fulfillment of the national laws 
mandating disarmament— even to the extent of aiding and abetting murder/' 

For more than a year the battle continued, reaching its climax in the 

59 
summer of 1921. 

At the end of January German representatives had signed the Paris 
agreement governing fulfillment of the Versailles Treaty disarmament 
provisions. Kahr immediately condemned this step. Throughout the winter 
and spring he hardened his position in defense of the Civic Guard. To 
have done otherwise would have cost Kahr the support of his most 
important political followers. The Civic Guard in Bavaria, unlike the 
parallel organizations in other states, was a large and highly 
centralized body with a substantial headquarters staff. As such, it 
provided congenial employment to scores of former General Staff officers. 
These officers had helped Kahr come to power; without their support 
his days in office would be numbered. Naturally, these men regarded 
the idea of dissolution with the utmost hostility and did everything 
in their power to mobilize public opinion in Bavaria behind the hard 
line approach. Kahr's other main base of support, the BVP, reacted 
to the crisis with less unity. A minority in the party wanted the Kahr 
government to yield, in order to prevent the application of sanctions. 



*This aspect is examined in greater detail in Chapter 2. 



47 



The majority, however, adhered to a position of pushing the issue to 
its limits, nUhoupJi few among tliem could nprec on the prohahlo 
(•nns.-r|,„.„res of surh a policy. l<,,hr's personal views mirrore.l those 
of Ills lian! line sujiporters. 

On May 5, the Entente powers presented the German goverment with 
an ultimatum demanding the prompt dissolution of the Civic Guard. A 
week later the Kahr government issued a strong statement calling for 
the rejection of this ultimatum, a step which met with widespread 
public approval. But as the crisis wore on Kahr's obduracy began 
to lessen. On May 23, Kahr indicated to the Civic Guard leadership 
that some sort of public accommodation would be necessary. ^^ On June 1, 
the British General Consul in Munich warned the Bavarian government 
that a failure to comply with the dissolution order would bring about 
sanctions. That same day the Civic Guard leadership offered to disband 
voluntarily. At the end of the month the Bavarian Civic Guard was 
officially dissolved. 

On the surface the move for dissolution appeared to be an abrupt 
about-face for the Kahr regime. The dissolution order, however, had 
been a sham. Even as the leaders of the Civic Guard were offering 
the voluntary disbandment of their organization, secret measures were 
undertaken to ensure the continuity of a strongly-armed and politically 
reliable force. The day after the Civic Guard was officially dissolved, 
the secret O rganisation Pittinger came into existence. The members of 
the Civic Guard passed directly into the new formation or into one of 



48 



the many right-wing paramilitary hands, taking with them their carefully 
protected stcicks of woajKins . Tlu> Civic Guard, in effect, liad gone 
underground. Tlie I']nLenle jiowers liad I)een de|)rived of a pretext for 
sanctions, liut the substance of right-wing political and military 
power in Bavaria remained intact. 

Kahr had apparently weathered the storm. Then, on August 26, members 
of the Organisation Consul , a Munich-based right-wing organization, 
assassinated the former Reich Finance Minister, Matthias Erzberger. 
Three days later the President of the republic issued a state of 
emergency decree which granted wide-ranging powers to the central 
government and temporarily nullified the independent police powers of 
the states. The Bavarian government immediately protested. To concede 
a power of intervention to the hated "socialists" in Berlin would 
destroy everything that Kahr, Pohner, and Roth had worked to achieve. 
It would undermine any further attempt to circumvent disarmament by 
permitting agents of the national government to operate within Bavaria, 
and would allow these same agents to proceed legally against a variety 
of important right-wing figures. Some of these, most notably Hermann 
Ehrhardt, the leader of the Organisation Consul , had evaded trial for 

treason after the Kapp putsch by taking refuge in Munich, where Pohner's 

ft s 
police could protect them. 

Worst of all, the new national emergency decree called into question 

the legal basis of the Bavarian state of emergency, which had existed 

since the time of the Soviet Republic. The Kahr government had taken this 



49 



Bavarian decree and used it as the basis for its repressive measures 
np,;rinst the lofL. NcM'ther Knhr nor Pohncr wtshi-d to sncriFice such a 
useful Ie!j;al instrument. Kahr resolved to f i k'' I; Llie new decree.'' 

But this time he had overreaclied himself. Kahr's defiant stand 
won him further credit with the extreme right, but separated him from 
the moderate element within the BVP. Although no less jealous of 
Bavarian rights and no more sympathetic to the republic than Kahr, the 
BVP was not willing to continue the fight with Berlin without at least 
exploring the path of negotiation. The BVP moderates pushed through 
a resolution offering the sacrifice of the Bavarian state of emergency 
if the national government would agree in return to leave the fulfillment 
of the national state of emergency in the hands of the state authorities. 
Such a compromise would preserve the principle of states' rights and, 
of greater significance, prevent the unwanted intervention of national 
agents within Bavaria. Kahr himself had resolved the Civic Guard 
issue in a similar manner, yielding in form to the national government 
while retaining the substance. This time, however, Kahr allowed himself 
to be influenced by the extremists, who wanted all or nothing. The 
BVP withdrew its support from his government. Having opened a gulf 
between himself and the dominant party in the state, Kahr took the only 
course left open to him and resigned. Ten days later, on September 22, 
1921, Count Hugo Lerchenfeld, the choice of the moderates, formed a 
new government in Munich. 



50 



Poliner's fall followed close upon the eclipse of Kahr, No political 
fi}:;uro as s tronj^'.-wi 1 UhI and as free with expressions of contempt as 
Pohner conld avoid making enemies, and Pohnor had collected his share. 
His relations with the socialist majority In the Munich city council 
had been frigid at the best of times; by September 1921, a state of 
open warfare existed between them. The PDM's special position as a 
joint state-municipal agency meant that the city of Munich, according 
to an 1898 agreement, bore one-half of the costs for its upkeep. In 
1921 the city council refused to vote its share of the expenses, as 
an emphatic protest against Pohner's continuance in office. On August 
26, 1921, the SPD, USPD, and KPD members of the council gave their 
unaminous approval to a resolution condemning Pohner's conduct in office 
in the strongest possible terms. Even the representatives of the 
moderate parties of the middle, however, were by this time ready to 
censure Pohner— not, to be sure, on account of the one-sided political 

interventions of the PDM, but because Pohner had insulted the city 

68 
government. 

None of this, in itself, would have led to Pohner's removal; the 
new government, like its predecessors, was little inclined to follow the 
lead of a leftist influenced city council, Pohner's real problem lay 
with the new Minister of the Interior, Franz Scliweyer. Kahr had 
combined the office of Interior Minister with that of Minister President, 
and in the former capacity had acknowledged Poliner's independence. 
Schweyer, however, embodied a more moderate political course, one which 



51 



varied sharply with Pohner's own extreme right-wing sentiments. 
Schweycr w.-is no Ipftist— his statements at the time and later made 
clear his unalterahlc opposition to socialism in any of its forms— hut, 
because of his moderation and his suspicion of the radicai riglit, he 
was regarded as "left-leaning" by his colleagues in the BVP.^^ Deep 
political differences thus separated the two men. Furthermore, 
Schweyer, as the former senior State Secretary in the Ministry of the 
Interior, knew well Pohner's habits and his tendency to evade or defy 
unwelcome attempts at outside control. The new Interior Minister had 
little desire to work with such an unruly subordinate. On the eve of 
his assumption of office Schweyer summoned Pohner and Frick for a 
discussion. He bluntly informed them that their attitudes toward the 
radical right and on the Jewish question did not coincide with his own, 
and left them to draw the proper conclusions. 

On September 28, 1921, PBhner resigned his position at the PDM and 
returned to his permanent civil service station in the judiciary. 
Although Schweyer had wanted Pohner to leave the PDM, he could scarcely 
have been pleased at the manner of Pohner's departure. As a parting 
blow against the new government Pohner had the text of his letter of 
resignation printed as a placard and posted throughout the city. In it 
lie condemned the Lerchenfold cabinet and the BVP for yielding on the 
issue of the Bavarian state of emergency. Calling attention to the 
exceptional police powers that the emergency decree had permitted, he 
hinted broadly that their removal portended the imminent revivial of 



52 



the Soviet Republic. With memories of 1919 still fresh In the public 
mind, such an appeal was a carefully calculated attempt to undermine 
support for the T.crchonfeld j'.ovcrnment . 

Frick remained at the PDM, but gave up his post as head of the 
political police. He was succeeded by his deputy, Friedrich Bernreuther. 
Bernreuther, one of PBhner's 1919 appointees, shared Prick's political 
views and had been deeply involved in some of the most questionable 
political police activities. He would, nonetheless, prove himself 

more flexible than Frick and more capable of moving with the political 

72 
currents. 

To replace Pohner, Schewyer appointed Eduard Nortz, who had served 
as Commissioner for Disarmament during the Civic Guard crisis. Having 
conscientiously— albeit ineffectually— discharged this thankless task, 
Nortz now embarked upon a similar endeavor: making the PDM responsive 
to the demands of the new regime. Nortz, although an able man and a 
dedicated worker, was unfortunately neither the man for a critical post 
in troubled times, nor a man capable of effacing Pohner 's imprint upon 
the PDM. The events of 1923 would prove Nortz 's weakness in the face of 
political pressure and demonstrate his regime's lack of impact upon 
the political attitudes of the Munich police. Long before Nortz was 

dismissed in May 1923, Schweyer would rue the day he had placed this 

73 
man in charge of the PDM. 

The passing of Pohner from the PDM gave the Bavarian public cause for 
uneasy reflection. Months before, in the midst of a Landtag debate on 



53 



Pohner's performance as Police President, Kahr had defended Pohner 
against leftist attacks by descrilving iiim as the man who had liroiij>ht 
order out of chaos in Miinicli. I'xpandinj; on this theme, Kahr credited 
i'oinuM- wltli having rehuiLt tiie PDM, making it a powerful and effective 
instrument of the state authority. Kahr's statement prompted stormy 
applause from the right-wing delegates . ^^ This applause was echoed 
widely throughout Bavaria. On the day after Pohner's resignation, 
the representative of the government of Wurttemberg in Bavaria, a keen 
observer of the Bavarian political scene, took time to reflect upon 
the significance of Pohner's departure. In earlier reports he had 
characterized Pohner's personality and recounted specific actions which 
demonstrated the political one-sidedness of Pohner's conduct in office. 
On this occasion, however, the observer approached Pohner's behavior 
from the standpoint of its impact upon popular opinion in Bavaria. 
Pohner, in the popular view, had been very much as Kahr had described 
him, the man who had supervised the restoration of order and who 
symbolized Bavaria's triumph over the horrors of the Soviet Republic. 
Without Pohner, a prevention of the recurrence of 1919 seemed less 
assured; the public regarded the future with unease.''^ 

But in its anxiety the public could well have found comfort in Kahr's 
earlier reflections on Pohner's work at the PDM. Pohner had indeed 
rebuilt the Munich police force and shaped it in his own image. He had 
strengthened the political police and initiated measures giving PDM VI 
a powerful tool for the repression of the political enemy. These measures. 



54 



moreover, would serve as guidelines for all future developments in this 
area. Tlic political police would remain largely as Pohncr and 
I'rick had made them. And I'ohner's departure in no way meant iiis 
withdrawal from political life. He moved instead from the forefront 
into the political background, where his talents for intrigue would 
find even greater opportunity for fulfillment.'^^ As his enemies and 
friends alike would discover, Ernst Pohner had merely resigned an office; 
he had not given up the fight for his own conception of "order." 



55 



Notes 

Adolf Hitler, Molm Kampf , trans, by Ralph Manlieim (Boston, 
]943), p. 367. 

2 
Hans Buchheim, "The SS— Instrument of Domination," trans, by 
Richard Barry, in Helmut Krausnick, Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat, 
and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Anatom y of the SS State (New York 1968) 
p. 141. 

3 
See the 1927 collection of documents relating to the transferral 
of Pohner's body in M Inn 71881. 

4 
The reference to the "sheltering hand" comes from Prick's 
testimony during the 1924 Hitler-Putsch trial. See H. Francis 
Freniere, Lucie Karcic, and Phillip Fandek, trans., The Hitler Trial , 
Vol, 1 (Arlington, Va., 1976), p. 319. This three volume translation 
of the complete stenographic report of the Hitler trial will hereafter 
be cited as Hitler Trial , Vol. 1, 2, or 3. 

See the 1925 collection of Pohner materials in M Inn 71880. 

The figures cited are from Falk Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte 
der nationalsozialistische Machtubernahme in Bayern, 1932-1933 (Berlin, 
1975), pp. 48-49. The most detailed analyses of Bavarian social and 
economic development down through 1918 are the following works, upon 
which the general conclusions in this paragraph are based: Axel 
Schnorbus,^"Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft in Bayern vor dem Ersten 
Weltkrieg," in Karl Bosl, ed., Bayern Im Umbruch (Munich, 1969), 
pp. 97-164; Hans Fehn, "Das Land Bayern und seine Bevolkerung seit 1800,' 
pp. 679-708; and Pankraz Fried, "Die Sozialentwicklung im Bauerntum 
und Lankvolk," pp. 751-775, and Wolfgang Zonr, "Bayerns Gewerbe, Handel, 
und Verkehr, 1806-1970," all in Max Spindler, ed., Handbuch der 
ba yerischen Geschichte , Vol. IV/2 (Munich, 1975). Hereafter, Spindler, 
Handbuch , Vol. IV/1 or TV/2. 

Ernst Deuerlein, ed., Der Hitlerputsch: B ayerische Dokumente 
zum 8./9. November 1923 (Stuttgart, 1962), p. 12T 

o 

Hitler Trial , Vol. 3, pp. 254-255. 

9 
Hemrich Hillmayr, "Munchen und die Revolution von 1919/1919," 
in Bob], Bnycrn im Umbrucli , |ip. 4 63-4 65. 



56 



Klaus-Dieter Schwarz, Wcltkrieg und Revolution in Nurnberg 
(Stuttgart, 1971), p. 274. 

Hans Felin, "Das Land Bayern und seine Bovolkcrung seit 1800," 
in Spindler, llandliurli . Vol. FV/2, jip. 679-684, 

Allan Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria (Princeton, 1965) 
pp. 92-109. 

13 

Ibid, pp. 213-230. 

14 

Ibid, pp. 271-290. 

Albert Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Erster Teil: 
Der Sturz der Monarchie. Revolution und Ratezeit. Die Einrichtung 
des Freistaates (1918-1920)," in Spindler, Hand buch, Vol. IV/1, 
pp. 425-434. 

Horst G. W. Nusser, "Militarischer Druck auf die Landesregierung 
Johannes Hoffmann vom 1919 bis zum Kapp-putsch , " in Zeitschrift fiir 
bayerische Landesgeschichte 33 (1970), pp. 818-850. 

Heinrich Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror in Bayern nach 1918 
(Munich, 1974), pp. 21-23, 164-167, 131-132. 

18„ 

Hans Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , in Bayern 
nach 1918 (Bad Homburg, 1969), pp. 62-63. 

19„ 

i'or the circumstances surrounding Pohner's appointment to the 

Stadelheim position, see his own statement in Hitler Trial , Vol. 1, 

pp. 91-92. The remarks on Pohner's appearance are based upon contemporary 

photographs; concerning Pohner's height, see Konrad Heiden, Der Fuehrer 

(Boston, 1969), p. 189. Further descriptions of Pohner may be found in 

Kurt G. W. Ludecke, I Knew Hitler (New York, 1937), pp. 80-81. Ludecke 

also describes the first meeting between Hitler and Pohner, at which 

he was present. Pohner gave expression to his anti-Semitism in his 

various utterances during the 1924 Hitler trial and in the attitude he 

adopted toward the Ostjuden . For the attitude of the military 

authorities toward Pohner, see Hillmayr, Roter u nd Weisser Terror, 

pp. 164-167. " 

20_ . 

This summary is based upon an historical sketch by Reg. Assessor 
Dr. Jacob, prepared in 1915 for internal use at the PDM, M Inn 71880. 
Many of the 19th Century documents relating to the early developments of 
the PDM may be found in two other files, RA 58111 and RA 58113. 

21 

1913 PDM Table of Oganization, M Inn 71880. 

22 

Ibid. 



57 



23 

Compare the 19] 3 PDM Table of Organization cited above with the 
1929 and 1932 Tables of Organization in M Inn 71881. 

"Vcrzeiclinis — Die Polizeidirektion Miinchcn als bayerische 
LnndL'szcntrale," M Tnn 71880, 

2'j 

See tlie series of 19 16 and 1.917 dociinients concerning I'DM 

counterespionage activities during the First World War in M Inn 71789. 

"Zusammenfassender Rericht der Polizeidirektion Munchen an die 
Staatsanwaltschaf t Munchen I iiber die Umsturzbewegung in Munchen 1919," 
StAnw. Mil. I 3124. 

27 

PDM to M Inn, Dec. 14, 1919, M Inn 71880. 

28 

Frick biographical material, BDC~NSDAP Hauptarchiv Mappe 1221. 
See also. Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial , Vol. 1, pp. 317-318; 
the phrase "Toyal Bavarian Nazi" comes from the thumbnail sketch by 
Albert Krebs in William S. Allen, ed. and trans.. The Infancy of Nazism: 
The Memoirs of Ex-Gauleiter Albert Krebs . 1923-1933 (New York, 1976) 
pp. 259-262. ~ 

29 

Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror , pp. 123-131. 

Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial , Vol. 1, p. 318. 

31 

See the "Protokoll ilber die am y. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den 
Ausbau des Nachrichtendienstes ," Reg. v. Mfr, , Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228. 

32 

PDM to M Inn, Dec. 14, 1919, M Inn 71880. 

33 

The basic points of Bavarian administrative structure at this time 
are conveniently summarized in Harold J. Gordon, Jr., Hitler and the 
Beer Hall Putsch (Princeton, 1972), pp. 165-166. The institution of the 
special commissioner is discussed in Heinrich von Jan, Verfassung und 
Verwaltung in Bayern, 1919-1926 (Munich, 1927), pp. 39-44. 

34^ 

For examples of these reports for the period covered in this 
chapter see MA 102 135 and MA 102 136. 

35^ 

Provincial President of Middle Franconia to M Inn, April 16 1920 
M Inn 71879. 

For Pohner's relations with the Munich city council, see Peter 
Steinborn, Grundlage und Grundziige Miinchner Kommunalpolitik in den 
Jahren der Weimarer Republik (Munich, 1968), pp. 229-230. 



58 



37, 

Aronson, Reinhard Heydrick und die Fruhseschichte von Gestap o 

und SD , pp. 94-95. 

38 

Special police commission to M Inn, Aug. 5, 1919, PDN-F 108/1. 

Ibid. 

Ibid. 

41 

PSNB to Police President Pohner, Sept. 19, 1919, PDN-F 108/1. 

42 

For background material relating to the preparation and circulation 
of the PSNB weekly reports, see PDN-F 331. For the reports themselves, 
see PDN-F 332-337/2. 

43 

For the LaPo in general, see the two standard works: Georg 

Sagerer and Emil Schuler, Die bayerische Landespolizei von 1919-1935 

(Munich, 1964), pp. 1-32. These works have not been superseded by 

Johannes Schwarze, Die bayerische Polizei , pp. 10-49, although Schwarze 

covers much the same ground. For the LaPo's political police work 

see the December 1923 correspondence in M Inn 71786 and the circular 

letter from M Inn to the Provincial Presidia, the Police President in 

Munich, and the Police Director in Nuremberg, Dec. 5, 1923, in Reg. v. 

Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228. 

Deuerlem, Der Hitlerputsch , p. 27; Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte 
der NS-Machtiibernahme in Bayern , p. 71; Friedrich Rau, Personalpolitik 
und Organisation in der vorlaufigen Reichswehr (Munich, 1970), 
pp. 158-171. For difficulties between the civilian and military political 
police, see PDM to PSNB, May 11, 1921, in PDN-F 316. For an example of 
the military performing civilian political police functions, see Bayer. 
Gruppenkmdo 4, Abt. la to BA Starnberg, Oct. 24, 1919, in RA 57804. 
Examples of the military situation reports may be found in MA 102 135 
and PDN-F 318. 

45 

Civic Guard leaders frequently claimed not to have an intelligence 

service, citing their close relationship with PDM VI/N as a reason why 
this would be superfluous. For this claim, see Testimony of Walter 
Schenk, July 28, 1924, St Anw. Mu I 3081d/l. The Civic Guard, 
nonetheless, prepared political situation reports, copies of which are 
collected in PDN-F 318. 

See tlie collection of "Tank" reports in PDN-F 407. 

47 

"Tank report, July 31, 1919, PDN-F 407. 

Testimony of Helnrich Mayer, October 1, 1924, StAnw. Mil. I 3081d/3; 
Testimony of Fdunrd Seubert, Octolicr 28, 1924, StAnw. M[i. I 3081d/3. 



59 



49 

Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3, 

Schwarz, "Die Zelt von 1918 bis 1933. Zweiter Teil : Der vom 
Burgertum gefiihrte Frelstaat in der Weimarer Republik (1920-1933)," 
in Spindler, Handhuch , Vol. lV/1, pp. 454-457. 

51 

P!)M to M Inn, April 5, 1920, M Inn 71996. 

52 

PDM to the Provincial Presidia and the PSNB, Oct. 18, 1920 Reg 
V. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228. 

53,, 

"Protokoll uber die am 7. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau des 
Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228. 

Ibid . 
Ibid. 

For this episode, see the March 12-March 22, 1917 collection of 
documents on political surveillance in M Inn 80352. 

The PSNB, as a branch of the PDM,, came under the ultimate control 
of Pohner and Frick. Thus, the willingness of the provincial authorities 
to allow the PSNB to handle the running of agents in northern Bavaria 
placed this vital activity directly in their hands. In southern Bavaria, 
the manifold contacts of the PDM were similarly sufficient. The key 
issue at this juncture was agreement in principle, which was attained 
at the Dec. 7, 1920 meeting. As Fenske points out, one of the most 
important bases of Pohner's political power was his monopoly over control 
of effective political intelligence. The only competing sources of 
intelligence of any consequence were the fortnightly reports of the 
provincial presidia, but these were neither so detailed, nor so 
influential as the political police reports. By filtering political 
intelligence according to his own political lights, Pohner could shape 
the political responses of his ministerial superiors. See Fenske, 
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , p. 141. 

58 

Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Sweiter Teil," in Spindler 
Handbuch , Vol. IV/1, pp. 454-465. 

59 

Ibid. , pp. 462-464. 

60 

These conclusions are based upon the observations of the diplo- 
matic representative of the state of Wiirttemberg in Bavaria, Carl Moser 
von Filseck. Moser's judicious reports to his superiors in Stuttgart 
are among the most useful and important sources for the political 
developments of the period. Many of the most worthwhile reports from 
Moser have been gathered in a published volume edited by Wolfgang Benz, 
The reports cited here are from Wolfgang Benz, ed . , Politik in Bayern, 



60 



19 19-1933: Berichte dcs wurttember^lschcn Ocsandte n Cnrl Moser 
von Filscck (Stuttgart, 1971), pp. 77-80. 

f)l 

11)1(1, pp. H\-H?.. 

ilorst C;. W. Nusser, Kcins orvn tive WolirvcT h.' indo in Ha ycrn 
I'rc-ussen, und C).s terrcich . 1918-1933 (Munich, 1973), p. 209 . ""~N^sscr 's 
work is the best single study of the Bavarian Civic Guard and its 
related organizations. Although frequently strident in tone and marred 
by occasional exaggerations, this study compels attention simply by 
virtue of the massive research it reflects. 

63, 

An overview of this sequence of events may be gained from the 
political chronology appended to Karl Schwend , Bayern zwischen Monarchie 
und Diktatur (Munich, 1954), pp. 553-557. 

Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande . pp. 208-212. See also Fenske 
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus . pp. 144-145. 

65 

Gotthard Jasper, Per Schutz der Republik: Studien zur staatlich en 
Sicherung der Demo kratie iTi der Weimarer Republik, 1922-1930 (Tubingen 
1963) , pp. 43-45. ' 

^^Ibid. 

^^bid. 

68^ . u 

btemborn, Grundlage und GrundzGge Munch ner Kommunalpolitik 
pp. 229-230. -^ ' 

69 

For Schweyer's attitude toward the left, see Fenske, Konse rva- 
tivismus und Rechtsradikalismus. pp. 62-63. For the BVP perception of 
Schweyer as left-leaning, see Deuerlein, Der Hitlerputsch . pp. 46-47. 

70^ . , ^ 

Frick described this interview in his testimony during the 1924 
Hitler Putsch trial. See Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial 
Vol. 1, p. 319. ' 

71 

The text of Pohner's resignation announcement is reproduced in 
Benz, Politik in Bayern , p. 87. 

For Bernreuther's appointment to the PDM, see the M Inn order 
of Oct. 26, 1919 in RA 58128. Some of Bernreuther's activities as 
Frick's deputy are chronicled in Chapter 2; his role in the events of 
the Beer Hall Putsch is discussed in Chapter 3. Despite his close 
association with Frick, however, Bernreuther managed to remain as head 
oi- PDM VI until his promotion in 1929 to head the newly-created 
Polizcidirektion Rogenshurg . 



61 



73 

The events lending to Nortz's 1923 dismissal are discussed in 

detail in Chapter 3. 

7 A 

Kalir's remarks are taken from a copy of the published transcript 

of tlie l-.-indtag debates for March 15, 1921. This copy may be round in 

M inn 71880. 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 85-88. 

The relationship between the guidelines established at the meeting 
to discuss the future of the political information on Dec. 7, 1920 and 
subsequent developments in this area is discussed in Chapter 3. 

Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , p. 141. 



CIIAPTl'R 2 
A CASE OF POLITICAL MURDER 



On the afternoon of March 4, 1921, a farmer named Josef 
Kuchenbauer went to work in his field just north of the Bavarian 
village of Zusmarshausen. Shortly before four in the afternoon, 
he took a break from his labors and walked down to the banks of the 
nearby river Zusam to look for duck eggs. As he poked through the 
bushes at the water's edge he noticed something white shimmering in the 
water. Looking more closely, he saw what appeared to be an old jacket 
floating just below the murky surface of the stream. Then he 
recognized the white object as a human hand. With his pitchfork he 
speared the jacket and attempted to draw it toward the bank. As the 
jacket surfaced so too did the corpse to which it was attached. Kuchen- 
bauer called for help from friends in a neighboring field, and with 
their assistance succeeded in dragging the body to the bank of the 
river. A combined effort was necessary, for the corpse had been weighted 
with two fifteen-pound paving stones, strapped to the neck and to the 
legs with wire. 

Kuchenbauer's discovery opened the investigation of a murder case 
which would come to exemplify, in the popular view, the flaws in the 
Bavarian system of justice during the Kahr-Pohner era.^ The inquiry 



62 



63 



into the death of Hans Hartung (for such was the victim's name), along 
with the subsequent disposition of the case, illustrated the ties 
between right-wing politics and political police activity wliich cliarac- 
tcrizcd tills period. In the company of other, similar cases, it 
fostered the impression that the PDM had become, under Pohner, a 
"central office for murderers." The strongest criticisms of the PDM 
came, not surprisingly, from Pohner 's enemies on the left. But the 
pattern of events was sufficiently disturbing to worry thoughtful 

conservatives and to embarrass the less stridently right-wing officers 

3 
of the Munich police. 

The brutalization of Bavarian politics arose from the experiences 
surrounding the suppression of the Soviet Republic. The language of 
political discourse during the Kahr-Pohner era was the language of war, 
which reflected directly the animating sentiments of political action. 
The leading figures of the Kahr regime saw themselves as occupying a 
beleagured outpost in the war against the left, against the leftist- 
tainted Reich government in Berlin, and against the recent wartime 
enemy, France. In this they represented the sentiments of many ordinary 
Bavarian citizens. 

The Kahr regime rested upon three bases of support: the BVP, the 
Bavarian branch of the DNVP, which served with the BVP in Kahr's 
coalition cabinet, and the Civic Guard. The broadly-based BVP embraced 
a wide variety of political opinion; it included both moderate conser- 
vatives and radical right extremists in an ever-shifting internal 



64 



balance. The Bavarian DNVP, represented In the Kahr cabinet by the 
Justice Minister, Christian Roth, aligned itself more closely with 
tlio r.ullrnl rif^Iit, as did tlie Civic Guard. Behind tlie scenes many 
le.ulinj', olTiccrs o I" Llic iiavarlan Kolchsweiir lent tiicir sui^jiorL to Kahr; 
the ties between the army and the Civic Guard in particular were close, 
for most Bavarian staff officers shared the political attitudes of those 
former colleagues and wartime comrades who provided the Guard with its 
leadership cadre. Each of these groups differed with the others on a 
variety of specific issues. All, however, were united in their hostility 
to the left and in their distaste for a central government which, 
in their eyes, was both the product and the prisoner of the hated 
socialists. And all of these groups shared a single, overriding 
political goal — the transformation of Bavaria into a "cell of order" 
( Ordnungszelle Bayern ) . Bavaria, purged of all traces of the socialist 

interregnum, would become the base from which the counterrevolution would 

4 
be launched. 

Attainment of this ultimate goal presupposed the fulfillment of 

two conditions, the preservation of the Bavarian base and the accumulation 

of power at that base. "Power," in this context, meant military power; 

the Bavarian leadersliip, anticipating a later philosopher of politics, 

believed tliat political power grew out of tlic barrel of a gun. Polincr 

himself expressed this attitude best. In an interview with a visiting 

Prussian civil servant lie presented his own model of political 

negotiation in his customary, plttiy fashion: 



65 



He who resists, must be shot, not the masses, but 
the leaders. Then resistance ceases. ... If your 
IJerliii government Is conrrontcd wiLli a strike, what 
does it do? It ru'j'.ot la tes . One must do it cH f- 
ferently. One calls the strike leaders to a con- 
ference and demands tliat the next morning their fol- 
lowers be back at work. If the first one says no, 
then shoot him and ask the second. If he says no, 
then shoot him as well. The third will most cer- 
tainly say yes. . . . But one must shoot, not just 
threaten. When we came into Munich after the Soviet 
terror, I had these Red hounds shot. . . . When one 
of these dogs comes, one must be ready to shoot. ^ 

PBhner's approach to labor relations reflected his, and his political 
compatriots beliefs about the way to deal with their political enemies. 
With such a political conception, their desire for control of a strong 
military force was logical. 

This desire, however, brought Kahr, Pohner, and their allies 
squarely into conflict with the less sanguinary leaders of the republic 
in Berlin. The Reich government faced a quandry. The centrist and 
moderate socialist leaders who shaped policy there did not wish to 
see Germany reduced to a 100,000 man army, and to this end had supported 
the creation of citizen militias. But the Bavarian Civic Guard had 
grown far beyond the strength of the militias in other states, and 
its political leadership was virulently hostile to the republic itself. 
The weapons in the hands of the Civic Guard might not be reserved, 
as intended, for use against a foreign enemy. ^ 

Indeed, one foreign enemy already shared the republican leadership's 
fear of the Bavarian Civic Guard. The French, after struggling for the 
inclusion of drastic limitations on German military power in the Versailles 



66 



treaty, observed the formation of a powerful militia in Bavaria with 
considerable dismay. In the French view, such an organization subverted 
tlic entire structure of armaments limitation, and presented the spectre 
of resurgent German military power. In this tlie French were not far 
wrong, for the more far-seeing among the right-wing Bavarian leaders 
were already looking beyond the showdown with the republic to the great 
war of revenge against the enemy across the Rhine. In response, the 
French exerted heavy pressure upon the Reich government to do something 
about these militias. In those states where the state government stood 
loyal to the republic, accommodation was reached on the militia question. 
In Bavaria, however, the issue led to an open conflict between the state 
government and the Reich . 

It was common knowledge that massive quantities of weapons left 
over from the army's wartime stocks were in the possession of the 
Civic Guard and other right-wing paramilitary groups— the National 
Socialists, for example, had their own small share. The French 
government threatened sanctions if the Reich government did not live 
up to its treaty obligations and disarm the militias, and the French 
military officers on the Entente Disarmament Commission were prepared 
to insist that the letter of the treaty be observed. To meet this 
demand and to insure itself against the growing threat from the armed 
legions of the right, the republican leadership resolved to act. In 
August 1920, the Reich government passed laws mandating the confiscation 
of military weapons in private hands and the supervised destruction of 



67 



these weapons. Other laws required each citizen to report the discovery 

of illegal caches oF arms to the proper authorities. 

The paramilitary organ! ^cations , not surprisingly, were unwilling 

to cooperate in Lheir own disarmament. Nor was the Kahr government 

willing to allow its own power base to erode in such a manner. The 

government therefore resisted the enforcement of the disarmament laws 

with every legal means at its disposal, while covertly supporting the 

efforts of the Civic Guard and the Bavarian Reichswehr to illegally 

circumvent the enforcement of these laws. The Instrument of this covert 

support was Pohner's political police. 

In theory, one of the first tasks of the political police under 

the disarmament law would have been to seek out and confiscate illegal 

arms caches. In practice, this was done only when the caches belonged 

9 
to leftist groups. From the outset close ties existed between the 

political police and the Civic Guard; for example, membership appli- 
cations for the Civic Guard were customarily vetted by the political 
police. This close cooperation extended to the protection of the 
Civic Guard's weapons. Once an illegal arms collection was brought 
to public attention little could be done to preserve it. The law was 
clear, the Social Democrat press stood ready to cry "foul" should a 
cover-up be attempted, and the French loomed in the background to insist 
that the law was observed. The trick was to prevent discovery in the 
first place. 

To accomplish this subversion of the law, the political police 
resumed their wartime counterespionage role against the French, and 



68 



added to this a close watch against spies from Berlin and from the 
various leftist p.roiips . Tn one recorded instance, PDM VT even placed 
an inrorm.T in (he Munl<-h oMIce of (he I'nlcnlc I) 1 s.i rinainen I C.inm I s.s i on . ' 
Reserve LieuLenanL-CoIonei Hermann KrJebel, the senior military figure 
in the Civic Guard, described the results of such police activity in 
the following terms: 



Close cooperation existed between the police and 
the Civic Guard in the matter of preventing the 
betrayal of weapons to the Entente Commission. As 
soon as the police discovered that a weapons cache 
had been betrayed, this information was communi- 
cated to us. We then had time to remove the weapons 
to a new hiding place. The police also warned us 
whenever they discovered hostile informers in our 
midst . 12 



Evading the consequences of betrayal, however, was not enough. The 
betrayers had to be deterred through effective punishment. 

The price one paid for obeying the Reich laws governing illegal 
armaments was only too frequently arrest by the Bavarian police and 
trial for treason in a Bavarian court. During the Kahr-Pohner era 
five individuals were convicted of treason on these grounds and received, 
on the average, prison sentences in excess of four years apiece. "''■^ Yet 
these were the lucky ones; for others, a more summary form of "justice" 
awaited. 

On October 6, 1920, the body of a nineteen year-old woman was found 
in a forest preserve south of Munich. The young woman, identified as 
Maria Sandmayer, had been brutally strangled. The political motivation 



69 



of the crime was unmistaknb] e , for the perpetrators had left a note 
above the body procl a Lining that Maria Sandmayer liad been executed for 
treason. Her act of treason had bcKiin with a compound error. Trained 
as a cook and a iiouse servant, the young woman liad come to Municii from 
her home in the country, searching, in the time-honored way, for better 
prospects. Shortly after arriving in the city, she came upon a placard 
on the street, calling all citizens to report all illegal arms caches 
to the Reich goverment's disarmament commission. Here she made her 
first error, for she decided to obey the law and report the arms hidden 
at her former place of employment in the country. Her second error 
followed immediately upon the first. Misreading the placard, she 
reported her information not to the office of the disarmament commission, 
but to the printers who had prepared the placard. The foreman there 
passed her report and her identity to friends in the Civic Guard, On 
October 6 a young man called for her at her new place of employment 
in Munich, presenting himself as a member of the disarmament commission 
interested in her information concerning illegal weapons. Shortly 
thereafter she departed with him, never to be seen alive again. "'"'^ 

Only a little more than a week passed before a similar incident 
occurred. A Relchswehr soldier by the name of Dobner reported an 
illegal arms hoard to the Entente Disarmament Commission. Unfortunately, 
the translator who received his report there was also in the pay of the 
political police. Several days later, on October 20, 1920, Dobner was 



70 



picked up by three men in a car and, in the course of a wild ride 
through the streets of Munich, leapt from the automobile just in time 
to escape from being beaten to death. 

In the Sandmayer case, witnesses identified her mysterious caller 
as a certain Lieutenant Schweighart, a member of the Civic Guard. 
The police investigation proved that a car belonging to the Civic 
Guard had been used in the killing. Schweighart could produce no 
alibi for the night in question. Nonetheless, Kriminal-Kommissar 
Friedrich Glaser, the head of PDM VI/N, ordered the preparation of a 

passport for Schweighart. Passport in hand, Schweighart fled the 

17 
country . 

Justice was done in even more topsy-turvy fashion in the Dobner 
case. Learning that Dobner had escaped the clutches of his would-be 
assassins, the informer who had betrayed him to the police, a man 
named Pracher, panicked. To clear himself, he turned to a Social 
Democratic Landtag deputy, Karl Gareis, who had made a name for himself 
through his outspokenness in the matter of illegal armament. After 
hearing Pracher's story, with its implication that the political police 
had been accessories in a murder attempt, Gareis demanded proof. He 
prevailed upon Pracher to call his contact man in the PDM's Department 
VI, tell his story, and ask for protection. As Gareis listened, Pracher 
telephoned his contact, who proved to be none other than Kriminal- 
Kommissar^ Glaser. Telling Glaser that Dobner had been "eliminated," 
Pracher then asked that he be protected by the police from the consequences 



71 



of his role in tha aff;iir. Glaser gave his assent to the request, not 
suspecting that the entire exchange was being recorded by a third 
party. Witli this confirmation of police complicity, Careis and his 
colleagues brought the matter before the Landtag — a step which would 
eventually lead to Gareis's own assassination. Dobner, Pracher, and 
Glaser all testified before the hastily assembled investigatory 
commission, the latter only after extreme pressure had been exerted 
by the Commission in the name of the Landtag . After a promising 
start, however, the work of the Commission was thwarted by a withdrawal 
of support on the part of the BVP delegation — a gesture of unmistakable 
political significance. In the court case growing out of the attempt 
on Dobner 's life, the court chose to accept without question the 
testimony of Dobner 's assailants, who were charged with assault rather 
than attempted murder, and who, upon conviction, received only nominal 
punishment. Dobner, in turn, was charged with perjury, although the 
charge could not be made to stick. Pracher's final reward in the 

matter was a fifteen year sentence for treason — the authorities did 

1 8 
not forgive him for turning to Gareis. 

Despite ongoing pressure from Berlin and Paris, the efforts of the 

Civic Guard and the Bavarian authorities to circumvent disarmament 

continued. And despite the object lessons provided in the Sandmayer 

and Dobner cases, certain individuals continued to make the error of 

reporting, or threatening to report, illegal weapons to the disarmament 

officials.. One such Individual was the waiter Hans Hartung, 



72 



Hans Hartung arrived in Munich from his home in Halle in 
February 1921. After service as a non-commissioned officer during 
the war, Hartung had returned to Hal].e in time to participate, as 
an active Communist, in the political disturbances which marked the 
winter and spring of 1919. He then turned upon his comrades, betraying 
several of the leading local Communists to the police. In revenge, 
a group of his former compatriots fell upon him and subjected him to 
a severe beating. His cuts and bruises, however, provided ample 
endorsement of his political change of heart, and solidified his 
position with his new-found friends of the political right. Hartung 

thus came to Munich with letters of recommendation and introduction 

19 
from his political friends in Halle. 

In February 1921, Hans Hartung was twenty-four years old, a young 

man of impressive height (over six feet, three inches) and correct 

manners, whose bearing convinced at least one Munich acquaintance 

20 
that before him stood a former army officer. Armed with the right 

manner and his introductions from Halle, Hartung quickly won access 

to leading right-wing circles in Munich. He first approached Reserve 

Lieutentant Otto Braun, the head of the Civic Guard's Economic Office — 

the office concerned with illegal weapons transactions — and asked for 

employment. In applying to Braun, Hartung demonstrated clearly that he 

had not come to Munich to continue his earlier career by waiting on 

tables. He had discovered in Halle that the right-wing groups, amply 

provided with money, paid well for confidential information. Unwilling 



73 



to work for a living, he slid readily into the life of a professional 

informer, the lesson of li i s hentinR at the hands of tlie Communists. 

?1 
evi dent I y tin I earned . 

Hraiin gave llartung money and introduced him Lo other leading 

22 
figures in the Civic Guard. On his own initiative Hartung endeavored 

to widen his field of activity by presenting himself to various Munich 

23 
industrialists with an offer to spy upon their employees. Sometimes 

he presented Braun as a reference; on other occasions he intimated that 

he worked for the Political Information Section of the PDM." His 

varied and sometimes conflicting self-representations, however, soon 

undermined the initial impressions of trustworthiness fostered by his 

manner and outward appearance. After receiving several approaches from 

Hartung, one businessman, who also happened to be a leading figure 

in the Civic Guard, called a friend at PDM VI to report Hartung's 

25 
behavior and ask for information concerning his bona fides. This, 

and other questions from Civic Guard representatives concerning 

Hartung's activities led to an order by the political police for the 

arrest and interrogation of Hartung on March 5. But by this point 

Hartung was already past questioning. 

On March 2 Hartung had called once again upon Lieutenant Braun at 

the latter 's office in the headquarters of the Civic Guard. Having failed 

in his efforts to broaden his connections, Hartung asked for more money 

from Braun. Braun refused. To this Hartung responded, "Herr Lieutenant, 



74 



I know a great deal; are you not afraid?" Confronted with this scarcely 

27 
veiled attempt at blackmail, Braun ordered Hartung out of his office. 

That evening Hartung assisted another right-wing paramilitary 

grcHii) in tiie clandestine triuisport of Illegal weapons to a iiitiing [ilace 

near Bad Tolz. The following day he spent sitting with friends in the 

Cafe Bristol. During the course of the conversation he bragged that, 

of all the participants in the previous night's exercise, he had been 

the only one not to have held commissioned officer's rank in the recent 

war. To underscore this self-important pronouncement, he hinted broadly 

that he would be participating again that evening in yet another secret 

28 

transferral of weapons. 

The body found the following afternoon by farmer Kuchenbauer was 
not immediately identified as that of Hartung. After the corpse had 
been pulled to the bank of the Zusam, one of Kuchenbauer 's companions 
ran to the local gendarmerie station to report the discovery. The 
gendarmerie station in Zusmarshausen was very small, manned by only 
three officers. Thus the leader of the station himself, Sicherheits- 
kommissar Josef Zahnle, responded to the call. He searched the body 
for some form of identification, but found only a pocket comb. Soon he 
was joined by the local judge, who brought with him a photographer to 
take pictures at the scene of tlie crime. After conducting a rudimentary 
examination of the area and seeing that the requisite photographs had 

been made, the two officials supervised the removal of the body to the 

29 
local clinic. 



75 



On the following day the autopsy was performed in Zusmarshauscn . 
Present at the inquest were the local officials from Zusmarsliausen antl 
the I'uiilLc i'rosecutor from Augsburg, WLlhclm Krick, to wiiom responsibility 
for tlie prosecution of the case would fall. Tlie autopsy revealed 
six bullet wounds, two in the head and four in the chest. The bullets 
recovered from the body indicated that pistols of 7.65 mm and 9 mm had 
been used in the murder. The results further suggested that Hartung 
had been shot down with a fusillade of five shots, all delivered more 
or less simultaneously, and then finished off with a shot fired from 
a range of a few inches into the inner edge of the right eye, alongside 
the nose. There was no indication that he had struggled to defend 
himself. 

Several clues were immediately evident. The river Zusam was, 
in the area around Zusmarshausen , quite shallow; along most of its 
course a body submerged in the river would not disappear completely 
from view. Only at several scattered points did it deepen sufficiently 
to adequately conceal a corpse. The body had been disposed of at one 
of these points — only the failure of the murderers to toss the heavily- 
weighted body far enough out from the bank prevented it from disappearing 

32 
in the muck at the bottom of ten feet of water. No stranger to the 

locality could liave selected such a suitable spot. Moreover, only 

some three hundred-fifty meters away, at the edge of the main road from 

Munlcli to Ulm, stood a small cluster of buildings, used at tiiat time 

by the Civic Guard for tlie storage of Illegal munitions. These buildings 



76 



provided a place where a vehicle could easily he screened from the view 

of n pnsserliy nlonp; the liip,hway, and a nearhy wooded In' 11 offered 

33 
further concea 1 meat . 

But if these Indicia pointed clearly in the direction of Local 

involvement, others pointed equally clearly against it. The paving 

stones had not come from the Zusmarshausen area. Nor had the corpse. 

Although no positive identification had been made, it was unquestionably 

34 
that of an outsider. 

Yet another clue was discovered on the morning of March 5. A 
railway worker walking along the tracks of the rail line connecting 
Munich with Ulm found a cheap leather briefcase lying discarded along- 
side the tracks. Inside the briefcase, wrapped in a newspaper, was a 

blood-soaked soldier's cap. Both the briefcase and the cap were later 

35 
identified as items that Hartung had carried with him everywhere. 

With these clues Public Prosecutor Krick, who had been placed 

in charge of the investigation by his superior, Kraus , ordered a number 

of measures. In the company of the local gendarmes he conducted a more 

precise examination of the areas where the various clues had been found. 

He ordered an inquiry into the source of the paving stones. Finally, 

in the absence of a positive identification of the body — this would 

have to wait until fingerprints could be taken and sent to the experts 

at the PDM — he attempted to identify any strangers or strange vehicles 

which had passed through Zusmarshausen on the night in question. 



77 



With the assistance of the Schutzmannschaf t in Augsburg, which 
routinoly oxaminod tlie papers of all vehicles passing througli the city, 
and with con f I niia L I on |irovidcd by oLlicr wlLnesses, Krick deleniiincd 
tiiat tiiree motor vehicles had driven througli Zusmarshausen during tlic 
night of March 3. The testimony of two local witnesses quickly called 
special attention to one of these vehicles. The witnesses, one of them 
a local gendarme, testified independently of one another to having heard 
a truck pass through the village heading in the direction of Ulm. 
One witness has noted the time of its passage at 2:30 in the morning. 
Both witnesses agreed that it had sounded very much like one of the 
military vehicles which frequently passed through Zusmarshausen carrying 
illegal weapons — the clandestine activities of the Civic Guard and 
other paramilitary groups were an open secret to the villagers, who 
lived along one of the most heavily employed routes for the transfer 
of weapons. A few minutes after the truck had passed out of hearing — 
which placed the truck approximately at the buildings near where the 

corpse would be found — both witnesses heard the sound of a shot from 

37 
that direction. 

The forensic examination of the paving stones suggested that they 

came from Munich; later investigations would confirm this and demonstrate 

that the stones had probably been taken from a construction site in 

the courtyard of a Munich army barracks. On March 8, an Augsburg 

police detective contacted the headquarters of the Civic Guard in 

Munich to check on the Schutzmannschaf t report that the military truck 

which iiad been checked through Augsburg travelling toward Ulm liad 



78 



belonged to Che Civic Guard. The call was taken by Lieutenant Braun , 

39 
who answered in the affirmative. A further comparison of witness 

reports indicated that Lliis had been tiie truck iieard jiassinj; tlirouj'Ji 

ZiiKinarsliausen in the early morning hours of March A. 

On the morning of March 9 the fingerprints taken from the corpse 
in Zusmarshausen arrived at the office of the Criminal Investigation 
Service (Department lb) of the PDM. Within a couple of hours the 
experts at lb identified the prints as belonging to the missing Hans 
Hartung, who had been wanted by the political police for questioning 
since March 5. 

At that time Kriminaloberkommissar Eduard Seubert of PDM Via had 
issued orders that Hartung be taken into custody and questioned about 
his activities in Munich. Seubert 's initiative came in response to a 
letter from the leadership of the Civic Guard given to him by Frick, 

the head of PDM VI. Hartung was suspected of spying on the Civic Guard 

42 
for the benefit of the Communists. Seubert detailed three officers 

from VlaF, Kriminalsekretar Johann Gehauf , Kriminalsekretar Johann 

Fell, and Oberwachtmeister Heinrich Becher. Gehauf and Fell were 

experienced political policemen, "old cops" in the customary sense of 

the term. Becher was younger, a member of the Schutzmannschaf t detached 

for temporary duty with VTaF. After securing Hartung's address, a 

pension only a few blocks from police headquarters, the three officers 

went to bring him into custory. Hartung, of course, was not to be 

found. The officers searched Hartung's belongings, confiscated some of 



79 



his papers, and questioned the hotel porter concerning his whereabouts. 
The porter, wlio liad just finished reading the article in the morning 
paper about the discovery of an unidentified murder victim in 
Zusmarshausen, remarked to the officers that the description of the 
victim in the paper could be that of Hartung. Although the remark 
aroused Feil's immediate interest, the lead was not followed up at 
that time. The three officers returned to police headquarters where 

the two officers turned to more pressing tasks, leaving Becher to write 

43 
up the report of their morning's work. 

The political police inquiry into Hartung's affairs continued 
in a desultory fashion until the morning of March 9. With the identi- 
fication of Hartung as the murder victim, however, the investigation 
immediately accelerated. That afternoon Kriminalsekretar Gehauf 
returned to Hartung's pension to question the staff. The following 
morning he was confronted by the appearance of Lieutentant Braun of 
the Civic Guard, who came to police headquarters with a prepared 
memorandum concerning his relations with Hartung. At the instructions 
of his superior, Seubert, Gehauf questioned Braun more closely about 
his connection to Hartung. During the course of this interrogation 
Braun admitted that Hartung had threatened him and the secrets of the 
Civic Guard. But the most suspicious item of all — the passage of a 
truck belonging to the Civic Guard through Zusmarshausen on the night 
of the murder — remained unexplored; Gehauf had not yet received the 
information from Augsburg concerning this matter and unwittingly let 



80 



it pass. Still, tlie session with Braun caused Gehauf and Seiibert to 
look more closely at the links between Hartung and Braun. In Seubert's 
words: "Aft(>r tlu' interrogation nehnuf and 1 nj'reod tliat Braun liad to 
he i.nvojved one way or anotlicr. 

The news that a Civic Guard truck had been within a few hundred 

meters of the murder site and that its occupants all had ties to Braun 

45 
fortified Gehauf 's suspicions. His colleague Fell believed that Braun 

46 
should be recalled and grilled vigorously. The three political 

policemen on the case — Seubert , Gehauf, and Fell — all shared the 

47 
conviction that they were on the threshhold of breaking the case. 

At that juncture, however, Police President Pohner intervened to take 
the case out of their hands. 

The first steps in this direction had been taken within hours of 
the identification of the murder victim. At eleven in the morning on 
March 9, the head of the political police, Pohner's close associate 
Frick, contacted Carl von Merz, the director of the homicide squad in 
Department I, and communicated Pohner's order that the homicide squad 
assume responsibility for the case in cooperation with the Public 
Prosecutor in Augsburg. Merz immediately objected. While recognizing 
that the ramification of the case into Munich made the active involve- 
ment of the PDM necessary, he believed that the Munich end of the case 
should remain in the hands of PDM VI. The political police, after 
all, already had their investigation underway — as a matter of procedural 
principle a transfer would be a mistake, causing needless delay and 



81 



complicating the rapid apprehension of suspects. Merz made these 
objections clear, not only to Frick, but also to Pcihner himself. In 
response POlincr insisted that Merz tal<.e over the case on a temporary 
basis until such time as a permanent solution could be found. Merz 

acquiesced and left that same afternoon for Augsburg to consult with 

48 
Public Prosecutor Krick. 

The political policemen involved in the case were likewise dis- 
contented with this turn of events. Upon hearing that they had been 
taken off the case, Fell and Gehauf were angered and frustrated. Gehauf 
went directly to Seubert and asked him to arrange an interview with 
Pbhner; he wanted to make certain his complaints were known. Pohner, 
however, denied the request. Not willing to give up the case completely, 

Gehauf continued for several days thereafter to follow up certain leads 

.... 49 
on his own initiative. 

Merz's conversation with the Public Prosecutor in Augsburg eased 

his objections to the transferral — the Public Prosecutor appeared to 

be cooperative, and offered Merz essentially a free hand. Upon his 

return to Munich he brought Franz Ott, the PDM's leading homicide 

specialist, into the case and proceeded with the investigation. The 

political policemen also swallowed their anger and worked with Merz 

and Ott to ease the problems of transition. On the morning of March 11 

Pohner made the temporary transfer to Department T permanent. The 

common interest of the lower officers in seeing the case brought to a 

successful conclusion had overcome the threat of delay. Merz, Ott, and 



82 



Krick, the latter having come to Munich to participate in the wider 
invosti )7,ntion, sot np shop in Ott's office and proceeded witli the 
J nterrogat Jon of suspects. 

With some reluctance — Ott was himself a member of the Civic Guard, 
and Merz sympathized politically with the Guard's aims — the three 
officials agreed with Gehauf and Fell that the track of the murderers 
led in the direction of the Ringhotel, the Munich headquarters of the 
Civic Guard. Suspicion centered upon the occupants of the Civic Guard 
truck which had passed through Zusmarshausen. The police inquiry 
yielded a list of five names representing the occupants of the truck: 
Richard Bally, August Beurer, Franz Brandl, Max Neunzert, and Jakob 
Schwesinger. All were active in the Civic Guard and had served with 
the army or one of the Freikorps ; Neunzert held the post of Disarmament 
Commissioner with the Civic Guard, and had played a leading role in 
preventing weapons from being surrendered to the Berlin authorities. 
Beurer and Neunzert were questioned on March 11 and 12. On March 13 
Brandl was brought in for questioning. At the very outset Merz won 
the impression that Brandl was holding something back, Merz pressed 
him further with a combination of sympathy and firmness which disarmed 
Brandl 's resistance. The young man then confessed that he had not 
been among the participants in the ride to Ulm on the night of March 3, 
and that he had been pushed by his friends into presenting himself 

thusly in order to cover the participation of yet another individual, 

52 
Hermann Berchtold. 



83 



The mere mention of Berchtold's name quickened the Interest of 
the intorrogntors . Berclitold had been Implicated in the Sandmayer 
affair and had been identified as one of Dobner's assailants — as had 
Neiinzert, who had driven the car used In tlie alnhiction of Dober. 
Beurer and Neunzert, moreover, had been caught in a direct lie 
concerning their activities on the night of March 3, and their pressure 
on Brandl to present himself in place of Berchtold took on the 
dimensions of a deliberate conspiracy of silence. Beurer was immediately 
brought back in and, confronted with Brandl's statement, conceded 
that Berchtold had in fact been the fifth member of the group. Both 
Ott and Merz believed that a milestone in the case had been passed. 

Merz later went so far as to say, "With the mention of the name 

53 
Berchtold, the case was, for me, as good as broken." 

Prosecutor Krick evidently agreed; that same day he signed 

warrants for the arrest of Bally, Berchtold, Beurer, Neunzert, and 

Schwesinger. Later that same day Lieutenant Braun's name was added 

to the list — the leads developed by Gehauf and Fell had finally born 

fruit. The next morning Krick returned to Augsburg, leaving what now 

54 
appeared to be merely a follow-up investigation in the hands of Merz. 

At this point the case against the six suspects rested firmly 

upon the juristical pillars of motive and opportunity. Hartung's threat 

to Braun, coupled with the more generalized doubts which had gathered 

around Hartung in Civic Guard circles, provided a clear motive. The 

evidence of opportunity was equally transparent. The five main 



84 



suspects — the arrest warrant against Braun had named liim only as an 
accomplice — had departed hy truck from Munich on the night in question 
and had hecn in tlu^ immediate vicinity of tlie murder scene during tlie 
course of tlie evening. All five liad lieen armed witli pistols oT tlie 
calibers used in the murder. Their truck was at the murder scene at 
approximately the time that two witnesses identified the sound of a 
shot coming from that direction. The paving stones used to weight 
the body came from Munich, quite probably from a barracks courtyard, 
to which they all had access on the afternoon of their departure. One 
of the suspects, Beurer, was a native of Zusmarshausen. Known through- 
out the village as a zealous duck hunter, he was thoroughly familiar 
with the course of the Zusam and undoubtedly capable of locating those 
rare spots where its depth permitted the concealment of a body. 
Moreover, Beurer had repeatedly used the cluster of buildings at the 
murder scene as a hiding place for illegal weapons — his affinity for 
the spot was virtually a byword in the village. Finally, Bally, 
Beurer, Berchtold, and Schwesinger had returned by train to Munich on 
March 4 along the route where Hartung's blood-soaked cap and briefcase 
were found. Granted, some of this evidence was circumstantial. Still, 
coupled with the known involvement of Braun and Berchtold in the Sand- 
mayer case, the grounds for arresting the six and holding them In 
investigative custody appeared overwhelming. 

Nonetheless, within twenty-four hours of having signed the arrest 
warrants. Public Prosecutor Krick returned to the PDM and countermanded 
them. The suspects were allowed to go free. Krlck's new directive, to 



85 



be sure, required that they hold themselves available for further 
questioning, hut, once they were free there was no effective means 
of cnforcinj^; this jirovision. Tlie suspects could flee, or go underground, 
as some of them ultimately did. If I^ohner's earlier transferral of 
the case from PDM VI to PDM I had threatened to delay the investigation, 
this latest move threatened to destroy it completely. 

What accounted for Krick's change of heart? Shortly after his 
return to Augsburg on the morning of March 14, a certain Dr. Gademann 
called at his home. Gademann explained that he had come by car from 
Munich to fetch Krick and take him back to the Ministry of Justice. 
Gademann indicated that the Minister desired a consultation on the 
progress of the Hartung case. Gademann evidenced a great need to 
hurry, against which Krick protested that he had just come from the 
train and was preparing to sit down to lunch. After some discussion 
Gademann agreed to come back at one-thirty in the afternoon. Gademann 
returned at the appointed time, drove Krick by his office to get some 

papers on the case, and then picked up the other Public Prosecutor, 

r 57 
Kraus , on their way out of town. 

Both Krick and Kraus had assumed that Gademann was a representative 

of the Ministry of Justice. During the drive back to Munich, however, 

Gademann remarked that he was the legal advisor to the Civic Guard and 

that the car belonged to Georg Esclierlch, the head of the Civic Guard. 

Krick felt a certain surprise at this — his assumptions about Gademann 's 

connection with the Ministry had been based upon the latter's evident 



86 



familiarity with Krick's work on the Hartung case. His colleague Kraus , 
however, saw nothing untoward in Gademann's mission. The Civic Guard, 
after nil, was a semi -offi c iai organi zat ion-- i n Ills own Augsburg 
jurisdiction Guard volunteers served on tlie staff of the lociil jail, 
and Kraus himself felt a great deal of admiration for Escherlch's 
work. More impressed than uneasy, Kraus thought nothing more about 
the possible impropriety as the car pulled up at the Palace of Justice 
in Munich. 

Once inside, both Kraus and Krick experienced disappointment. 
They had been led to expect an interview with the Justice Minister 
himself. Dr. Roth. Instead, they were ushered into the presence of 
Oberreglerungsrat Giirtner, Roth's deputy and later successor. Krick 

presented his report to Giirtner and then departed in the direction of 

59 
police headquarters, leaving Kraus to consult further with Giirtner. 

Krick went directly to Merz and, after hurriedly recounting the 
events of the afternoon, walked over to a lectern in the corner of 
Merz's office and wrote out the order lifting the warrants for arrest. 
Merz protested with all the vigor he could muster. Nothing had changed 
since the night before, when the warrants had been issued; their 
withdrawal would destroy the prospects for further progress in the case; 
this sudden step made no sense. Krick listened stonily, and then 
reaffirmed his order. 

For Merz, the memories of this episode would still rankle years 
later. The case had been thrust upon him by Pohner, against his 



87 



professional objections. And now, with success within his grasp, 
the basis of tlie invo.stij^at ion liad been cut from under him. Tf the 
case failed now, it would most certainly be a black mark against him 
and against the reputation of Department I, hitherto unbesmirched by 
charges of political bias. Throughout the next day he mulled matters 
over and then went to Police Director Ramer, second-in-command at the 
PDM and head of Department I, stated his feelings, and asked to be 
removed from the case. Ramer promised to take this request under 
advisement. The next day Merz was summoned to Ramer 's office, where 
he found Ramer and Krick's superior, Kraus. Ramer explained that he had 
already conveyed the substance of Merz's objections to Kraus. Kraus 
then sternly reminded Merz that, as a police officer, he was duty-bound 
to obey the instructions of the prosecutor's office. He professed 
himself satisfied with Merz's conduct of the case up to that point, 
but wanted to make certain Merz would continue in the right direction; 
this final remark passed without further explanation. Ramer then 
warned Merz not to hurt himself and his career by doing something stupid 
(". . . Ramer redete mir zu und meinte, ich solle keine dienstliche 
Dummheit machen . . ."). The interview concluded with a direct order 
from Ramer to Merz to continue as head of the investigation. 

But the case had clearly collapsed. Hamstrung in his efforts to 
move against the most likely suspects, Merz soon lost interest in 
pursuing the futile exercise. The investigation continued in 



88 



desultory fashion into 1922 and then faded into nothingness, only to 
be revived when political circumstances changed some years later. 

'I'hc case against the suspected slayers of Hans Hartung had been 
murdered, just as surely as Hartung Iiimself. But why? And by whom? 
The proximate cause had been the prosecutor's unwillingness to uphold 
the arrest warrants. Krick's sudden change of heart, however, had not 
come unbidden. Here was the real mystery in the case. 

Both Krick and Kraus later swore that Giirtner had made no attempt 
to influence their disposition of the case. Questioned later about the 
interview at the Justice Palace, Krick insisted that Giirtner had only 
requested a progress report and had made no attempt to influence the 
course of the investigation. His impression had been that the dispatch 



*In the summer of 1924 the investigation was reopened under the 
supervision of Investigating Judge Kestel of the Landgericht Miinchen I . 
In March 1925, Max Neunzert and Richard Bally were formally tried for 
the murder of Hans Hartung. The other four suspects were also sought 
for trial, but could not be brought before the court. Beurer had 
successfully gone underground; Berchtold, who in the meantime has been 
sought by the Austrian police for yet another murder, had likewise 
disappeared. Schwesinger was hiding out in the Saarland. Braun had 
found asylum in Admiral Horthy's Hungary, where he effectively resisted 
extradition in connection with the Hartung case by presenting himself 
as the victim of political persecution — the request for extradition had 
also been based on a second indictment against Braun, issued for his 
complicity in the Sandmayer case. 

In its verdict the court concluded that it was "highly probable" 
that "as participants in the truck ride to Ulm, the two defendants had 
participated in the murder of Hartung." Neunzert and Bally were none- 
theless set free — high probability not being adequate for a conviction. 
One may respect the court's adherence to strict standards of law in 
this case, while at the same time noting that such strict standards had 
not often been demanded when leftists were being tried in Bavarian 
courts. One may also question the court's treatment of evidence in 
expressing its reasons for doubt. For example, in rejecting tiie indict- 
ment, the court laid great stress on the fact that no traces of blood 



89 



of Gademann to Augsburg to bring back the two prosecutors was the simple 
consequence of Curtner's desire Tor fresh Information. Kraus described 
the incident In much the same language. To explain his sudden volte- 
face in the matter of the arrest warrants, Krick stated that it had not 
been sudden at all, that he and Kraus had agreed on this measure shortly 
before leaving for Munich that afternoon. The discussion took place 
when Gademann and Krick stopped at the door of Kraus 's home to pick him 
up for the ride to Munich. Krick walked to the door, leaving Gademann 
to wait with the chauffeur. Walking back to the car with Kraus, Krick 
reported briefly on the developments during his three-day stay in 
Munich. In the course of the discussion he began to wonder if he had 
acted too hastily in issuing the arrest warrants — perhaps Kraus 
expressed certain reservations on this score. The evidence against the 
suspects was not absolutely conclusive. Worse, all of the suspects were 



had been found on the clothing of the defendants — this in spite of 
the fact that a week elapsed between the night of the crime and the 
first examination by the police of any of the suspects, and in spite 
of the further fact that Neunzert himself admitted under oath that he 
and his four co-riders had all taken changes of clothing with them on 
the trip. The court also dismissed out of hand a statement of Bally 's 
to a friend that he had participated in the murder of Hartung, 
largely on the grounds that Bally had been drunk at the time of this 
confession. In vino Veritas clearly did not count for much with the 
court. For these and other details of the later case against Neunzert 
and Bally see tlie verdict of March 30, 1925, in the case in StAnw. 
Mu. I 3018d/7. 



90 



respectable individuals and members of the Civic Guard, an organization 
with close ties to the state. One would have to proceed very carefully, 
for a mistake couJd liave a serious effect on public opinion. 

Krick's version of this exchange was the only one available — 
Kraus recalled later that Krick had made his report, but could remember 
nothing of its content. Nonetheless, Kraus 's version of the interview 
with Giirtner suggested that he and Krick had already come to have 
second thoughts on the subject of the arrest warrants before the inter- 
view began. As Kraus recalled the interview, it began with a general 
report by Krick. At the conclusion of the report the question of the 
arrest warrants arose. Apparently without being pressed by Giirtner 
on the matter — Kraus refused to attribute any comment to Giirtner — Kraus 
indicated that he was well aware of the significance of the case, that 



*The original of Krick's statement read as follows: 

"• • • • Ich berichtete meinem Amtsvorstand .... iiber meine 
Tatigkeit in Miinchen und den Gang der Erhebungen in grossen Ziigen. 
Hiebei werde ich auch geaussert haben, dass ver Verdacht auf die 
Beschuldigten gefallen ist, gegen die ich Haftbefehl erlassen hatte, 
dass aber noch kein abschliessender Beweis da sei, well man noch nicht 
wisse, wo Hartung ermordet wurde und ob er iiberhaupt lebend auf dem 
gleichen Lastauto fuhr, wie die iibrigen Beschuldigten. Die Annahme, 
dass er in Miinchen ermordet wurde und in einen Personenkraf twagen als 
Leiche zur Zusam befordert wurde, war meines Erachtens nicht ganz 
ausgeschlossen. Ich weiss nun nicht mehr, ob bei dieser Unterredung 
mir Bedenken aufstiegen, ob ich mit meinem Haftbefehl nicht etwa 
deneben getappt hatte, oder ob vielleicht Staatsanwalt Kraus derartige 
Bedenken aussprach. Ich glaube eher, dass das letztere der Fall 
gewesen sein mag. Die Bedenken mogen nach der Richtung gegangen sein, 
dass die Beschuldigten anstiindige Leute und Angehbrige der Einwohnerwehr , 
also einer sozusagen staatlichen Einrichtung waren, und das man wegen 
des Eindrucks, den in diesem Fall ein Misgriff auf die offentliche 
Meinung machen miisse, Grund zu bcsonderer Vorsicht habe. ..." Testi- 
mony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 192A, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 



91 



he was not completely certain of the charges against the six suspects, 
and that he intended to do everything in his power to avoid the 
appearance of having acted over-hastily . On these ground he could not 
see fit to uphold the arrest warrants, particularly since, given the 

kind of people involved, he did not fear that they would take flight 

64 
upon release. 

Viewed against this background, Giirtner's promise that Kraus would 

be given a free hand in the case assumed a different role. Had Gurtner 

wanted to influence the case in favor of the six suspects, he could 

scarcely have asked for more than Kraus offered voluntarily. Both Kraus 

and Krick were noticeably reticent about attributing statements to 

Gurtner in the course of their later testimony. This was hardly 

surprising, for when their testimony was given on the case in 1924, 

Gurtner was Minister of Justice in Bavaria, with the power to make 

or break the careers of men in Kraus 's and Krick' s position. 

Gurtner, further, was a clever and astute politician, as his 

later career made evident. He was not the kind of man who needed to 

make things explicit in order to get his point across. Indeed, the 

entire sequence of events on March 14 may be viewed as a carefully 

orchestrated attempt to influence the two prosecutors. The arrest 

warrants had been signed on the evening of March 13. By morning this 



*Gurtner managed the quite remarkable feat of remaining in the 
Bavarian cabinet until 1932, despite frequent differences with the 
dominant BVP. He then managed a dexterous move to national politics 
as Reichminlster of Justice in the cabinets of Papen and Hitler, 
holding this post until his death in 1941. 



92 



fact would have been known at the Ministry of Justice and at the 
headquarters of the Civic Guard. Minister Roth immediately attempted, 
through Ciirtncr, to contact Kri ck in Munich, but the phono call reached 
tlie PDM moments after the latter 's departure for Augsburg. Th>.>n, 
instead of phoning Kraus and arranging for the two prosecutors to 
come by train to Munich, he sent Gademann, the legal advisor of the 
Civic Guard, in a car belonging to the head of the Civic Guard, 
to fetch them. Nothing could have been more unusual — Kraus, for example, 
had never ridden in an automobile before — and more calculated to 
impress the two with the special nature of the Civic Guard's relation- 
ship with the state. The comments of Kraus and Krick on this gesture 
confirm its effect. 

In a later attempt to justify his actions, Krick called attention 
to a report implying that Hartung had been murdered by Communists from 
Halle. Yet this report did not surface until three days after the 
decision to cancel the arrest warrants. Furthermore, the professional 
policemen working on the case, men such as Seubert and Merz, dismissed 
this report with contempt. Merz termed it " Agentengeschwatz , " the 

CO 

childish babble of agents. 

No disclaimer could conceal the obvious, A cover-up had taken 
place. The left-wing press, of course, had no doubts on the subject. 

Nor did many of the policemen involved. In the words of detective Ott, 

69 
"Someone must have dropped a hint." With its reputation already 

burdened by the Sandmayer and Dobner affairs, the government had taken 



93 



out yet another mortgage. The alternative, however, was worse. To 
aJ Low the six suspects to be placed before a court — even a bavarian 
court — would have invited exposure of its most important secrets. It 
could have compromised key figures such as Pohner and, perhaps, have 
brought down the government itself. At the very least it would have 
undermined Kahr's position in the fight with Berlin over disarmament. 
To understand the politics of the Hartung case, one must examine 
more closely the ties between Pohner, the political police, and the 
Civic Guard. Had Pohner himself ordered the deaths of Sandmayer, Dcbner, 
and Hartung? And even were this not the case, had he used his position 
to protect the murderers and assist them in evading justice? 

The ties between Pohner ' s political police and the Civic Guard 
were extremely close. In working together against the threat of 
disarmament leading figures in the two organizations came into regular 
contact. Reserve Captain Walter Schenk, in 1921 the head of the Civic 
Guard's own intelligence service, thought nothing of picking up the phone 
and calling Prick's deputy, Regierungsrat Bernreuther, whenever he 
needed information from the political police. Adam Sturapfig, another 
member of the Civic Guard headquarters staff, received a warning against 
a leftist agent from Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser of PDM VI/N. The 
words of Lieutenant-Colonel Kricbel on the subject of this cooperation 
have already been cited. Whenever measures effecting state security 

were discussed at the PDM, representatives of the army and the Civic 

72 
Guard were invited. And the professional ties between the police and 



94 



the guard were frequently reinforced by personal ties as well. Tliis 
extended to nt least some of the defendants in the Ilartung case, 
notably Max Neun/.ert. 

After four years at the front and service with a Freikor ps in the 
summer of 1919, Max Neunzert worked as an intelligence agent for the 
staff of the VII. Corps in Munich. In June 1920, he left the army 
to work for the Civic Guard, serving as a contact man between the latter 
and Captain Ernst Rohm, the Reichswehr officer in charge of circumventing 
weapons controls. From then until the night of the Hitler Putsch, 

in which he was an active participant, Neunzert worked closely with 

73 
Rohm. At the same time he cooperated with PDM VI. 

Although acquainted with many police officers, including Pohner 

himself, Neunzert spent most of his time with the political policemen. 

In the year prior to the murder of Hartung he appeared in the offices 

of Department VI on an almost daily basis. In addition to sharing 

information on weapons matters with his opposite numbers there, he 

also, on occasion, worked as an undercover agent for the political 

police. In the summer of 1920 he worked for Bernreuther as an agent 

provocateur, travelling throughout the countryside in the guise of 

a French officer from the Disarmament Commission and trying to entice 

various Individuals to betray weapons caches to him. He baited his 

offers with money provided for the purpose by Bernreuther. Then, when 

the trap was set, he turned these "traitors" over to an officer of 

74 
PDM Via, who arrested them. Not surprisingly, the comments of many 



95 



political police officers on Neunzcrt read almost like character 
references. Significantly, the officers most interested in hringinK 
the murderers of Hartung to justice did not belong to Neunzert's circle 
of acquaintance at the I'DM. 

Emotions ran high on the weapons issue. Popular right-wing 
newspapers such as the Miesbacher Anzeiger condemned the betrayal of 
weapons to the Entente in the strongest possible terms and repeatedly 
denounced the betrayers as traitors. This sentiment extended to 
its logical conclusion meant the death penalty for W af f enverrat , and 
few on the right shrank from drawing this conclusion. General Franz 
Ritter von Epp, the hero of the war against the Soviet Republic, 
spoke for many when he said: 



I regard the steps taken by patriotic groups against 
the weapons-traitors as acts of self-defense and morally 
right, because they serve as a deterrent. Patriots 
approve the murder of these traitors. 78 



Kriebel ratified Epp's sentiment and added that he could readily 

understand how "brave, responsible, young veterans" would want to 

79 
get rid of these "traitors and Schweinehunde . " Neunzert, one of 

these young veterans, agreed. So, too, did many officers of the 

political police, from POhner and Frlck on down. Pohner expressed 

his personal attitude on the issue of giving up weapons in the 

following terms : 



96 



T am a simple Civic Cuardsman. In the Civic Guard, 

an ordinary sergeant is my superior. I do my duty — 

T have five rifles and two pistols at liome. . . . The Red 

hound who comes to take my rifle away will get a bullet 

through tlie liead.^^- 



Frick related this attitude to the actions of the weapons-traitors, 

saying, "The failure to impose the death penalty against such indi- 

82 
viduals represented a sin of omission on the part of the state." 

Pohner, according to Frick, proposed to rectify this omission 

through the introduction of the death penalty for such acts. This, 

however, was impossible; even in Bavaria one could not condemn a person 

to death for obeying the law of the land! One could, nonetheless, 

ensure that the same result was achieved unofficially. If the police 

and justice authorities refused to move against right-wing political 

murderers, the public would soon understand that obeying the national 

laws on the reporting of weapons meant exposing oneself to an untimely 

end. The spectre of a powerful underground organization, aided and 

protected by the executive organs of the state, was a calculated 

deterrent. After contemplating the fates of Sandmayer, Dobner , and 

Hartung, few individuals would be willing to report illegal weapons 

caches to the disarmament officials of the Reich . In this context, 

the very insignificance of these victims was important, for others 

could see that not only prominent public figures were exposed; even 

the "little man," or woman could not evade discovery and punishment. 

With the police on the side of the murderers, there was no place to 



97 



hide and no protector to whom one could appeal. The political police 
protected the niurdererK--and the murderers protected the police. Tn 
tlu' fncc of jiuhlic com[)1,'i Ints in the press and in tiu." handtajj, the 
police could contend that tliey were trying to find tlie murderers. 
However dark the rumors might be, Pohner and his subordinates could 
respond that leads in a case were lacking, that adequate proof could 
not be found, or that administrative problems had intervened — Pohner 's 
own action in the Hartung case suggested just how such administrative 
problems might be manufactured. A reign of terror could be fostered 

and yet, because the terrorists themselves were not policemen, no direct 

84 
responsibility could be attached to the police. 

Still, the rumors of police complicity persisted. One widespread 

allegation, never categorically denied, traced the murders of Sandmayer, 

Hartung, and others to a policy developed at a meeting held in Pohner 's 

office at the PDM. The regular appearance of Civic Guard leaders at 

police headquarters, Pohner's close ties with the Civic Guard — despite 

PBhner's claim to have been only a simple Civic Guardsman, he was deeply 

involved in its innermost councils — and the unquestioned implication of 

the Civic Guard in the political murders all combined to reinforce 

Q C 

this allegation. Further indirect confirmation came in the later 
testimony of Oberinspektor Reingruber, who claimed to have been present 
in Pohner's home at a meeting where Pohner himself ordered a political 
murder. No written evidence substantiated these allegations; then 

again, Pohner was much too clever to commit something so potentially 

... 87 

incriminating to paper. 



98 



But even if Pohner were absolved of such active participation, 
tlicrc rfiii.i i iird llic (piosllon of otiicr forms of conipl i r i ty . 'I'lir points 
of coopt'raL Ion licLwocn Llio iio I I L I ca I police aiitl the Olvic tluaril were 
manil'oici, extending far beyond I'ohner's connections with the (;ivic 
Guard leadership — witness Neunzert's work as a police undercover agent. 
The work of the political police in identifying weapons-traitors, and 
the willingness of the political police to share this information 
freely with the Civic Guard, made the PDM an active, if silent, 
partner in the measures of the Civic Guard against the betrayal of 
weapons. In particular, the role of Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser was 
suspicious. Glaser had used his official position to assist the escape 
of a suspect in the Sandmayer case. In the Dobner case he had been 
caught offering protection to one of the conspirators. His imprint 

was also detected on a variety of other illegal acts of a political 

88 
nature . 

Although Glaser claimed to enjoy no special relationship with 

Pohner, the evidence spoke heavily against him. Glaser was one of only 

three PDM officers present at the secret meeting of December 7, 1920, 

concerning the political intelligence service. In 1921, at the time 

of the murder of Hartung, he headed the political intelligence 

service in PDM VI, a position described by PtShner himself as one of 

extreme sensitivity and responsibility. Even more revealing, he had 

been promoted past colleagues ten years his senior, a sure sign of 

f 89 

favor. 



99 



One of the devices used by the police to assist politicc?] 
imirderors wns tlie provision of false passports, with which the assassins 
could flee to a foreign asylum — usually Hungary — until the case was 
forgotten. Testifying before an investigative commission of the 

Reichstag in 1927, Glaser claimed that in providing such passports 

90 
he was following Pohner's express orders. This claim may have been, 

on Glaser's part, a bald attempt to evade personal responsibility for 

his actions. At this point the combination of Pohner's death two 

years before and Glaser's own precarious legal position had dissolved 

the one-time trusted subordinate's bonds of loyalty to his former 

master. This testimony, nonetheless, clearly linked the political 

police with illegal political activity. And, given Glaser's close 

ties with Pohner, his claim had a certain credibility. 

The relationship between the political police and the Civic Guard, 

the pattern of political interference in favor of right-wing political 

murderers, and Pohner's own frankly-avowed approval of such acts 

suggested strongly that the PDM was deeply involved in the reign of 

terror which gripped Munich in 1921. Hans Hartung had foolishly 

placed himself afoul of the most powerful forces in Bavarian politics. 

For this he paid with his life. 

Others, less foolishly, ventured a challenge to these powerful 

forces and met with a similar end. Throughout the year the socialist 

li^H^'^JS deputy, Karl Gareis, had waged a public battle against the 

illegal weapons transactions of the Civic Guard and against the wave 



100 



of political terror in Bavaria. Careis's involvement with the Dobner 
case iin(\ his attempts to bring light upon the nefarious activities of 
Claser and tlie political police had made him one of the most prominent 
and most hated enemies of the radical right. In the midst of the 
crisis surrounding the dissolution of the Civic Guard, on the night of 
June 10, 1921, Gareis was murdered on his own doorstep. Coming in the 
wake of the other political murders, the assassination of Gareis cast 
further suspicion on the Civic Guard and other radical right-wing 
groups in Munich. The evidence turned up by the police also pointed 
in that direction. But no suspect was ever convicted of the murder. 

Glaser, however, was once again implicated in the case, through his 

91 
connection with the escape of a prime suspect. 

The reign of terror went on, extending outward from the Bavarian 
"cell of order" to embrace all of Germany. On August 26 Matthias 
Erzberger, a moderate leader of the Center Party and a strong supporter 
of the republic, was gunned down during a visit to the south-west 
German state of Baden. Erzberger, perhaps more than any other single 
individual in German political life, was hated by the radical right. 
Erzberger had been one of the first prominent German politicians to break 
openly with the wartime dictatorship of Ludendorff and Hindenburg and 
call for peace. He had participated actively in the negotiations 
leading to the armistice, and had led the parliamentary efforts culmi- 
nating in the ratification of the Versailles treaty. As Reich Finance 
Minister during 1919 and 1920 he had pushed for a greater centralization 



101 



of political authority in the new republic, at least partly in order 
to crcntG a fiscal basis for dealing with Germany's manifold economic 
problems. Tn pursuing these various policies iCr/.berger liad come to 
eml)ody virtually everytlring tliat the rlglit found repugnant in tlie 
republic. For this he paid twice over, the first time by being driven 

from public life by his many enemies, the second time, on the eve of 

92 
his political comeback, with his life. What had begun with the 

random terror of 1919 had become, through stages marked by the murders 

of such minor figures as Maria Sandmayer and Hans Hartung, a concerted 

attack upon the political leaders of the republic. 

Erzberger's assassins, two young former officers, Heinrich Schulz 

and Heinrich Tillessen, fled from the scene of the crime to Munich, 

where they could expect the protection of the police authorities. In 

this they would not be disappointed. The police in Baden followed the 

assassins' trail to Munich. There, in keeping with standard practice, 

the officers from Baden placed themselves in contact with the PDM and 

asked for cooperation. Tillessen had already crossed the Austrian 

border, but Schulz was still in Munich. Informed by contacts within 

the PDM that the net was closing, Schulz 's Munich friends spirited him 

across the border to Salzburg. There Schulz and Tillessen were reunited. 

They then proceeded to safe asylum in Hungary, conveyed across Austria 

in a car belonging to the Police President of Salzburg, a gesture once 

93 
again attributable to the friendly intervention of the PDM. 



102 



In the course of their investigations in Munich, the police from 
Baden uncovered evidence of links between Schulz and Tillesscn and 
thi' secret Or j;an i sat 1 on Consu 1 . This underground right-wing society, 
based upon tiie former Ehrliardt Naval Brigade, has its headquarters in 
Munich, where Ehrhardt and his henchmen had enjoyed the protection of 
Pohner's police after their participation in the abortive Kapp putsch. 
Further investigation suggested that the assassination of Erzberger 
had been carried out at the command of the O.C. leadership. Confounded 
by a continuing lack of cooperation from the Munich police, the Baden 
authorities were unable to establish a firm case tying the O.C. as an 
organization to the Erzberger murder — this would come only with the 
trial of Schulz and Tillessen after the Second World War. But the 

behavior of the PDM prompted bitter criticisms from the state government 

94 
in Baden. 

The assassination of Erzberger provoked a nationwide wave of 

public indignation. While many had been prepared to condemn Erzberger's 

policies, only his most bitter enemies had wished to see him dead. In 

Bavaria, the BVP position had been one of marked hostility to Erzberger — 

the split of the BVP from the national Center Pary had been, in part, 

a response to Erzberger's leadership role in the national party. The 

BVP moderates, however, condemned the assassination, and, when Kahr's 

policies appeared to place Bavaria in a position of condoning the 

95 
murderers, withdrew their support from him. A second wave of public 

outrage would follow the June 1922 assassination of Walter Rathenau, 



103 



the R eich Foreign Minister, by members of the Organisation C onsul . This 
time, however, the right-wing terrorists had definitely overreached 
themselves. The Reic h government passed a series of stringent new 
laws against siicli acts of violence. Altliougli tlicse laws would lie 
ultimately rendered toothless by the rightward bias of the Weimar 
judiciary, the political climate turned against blatant right-wing 
terrorism. In Munich, the dissolution of the Civic Guard, the fall of 
the Kahr government, and the resignation of Pohner from the PDM had 
already signaled the beginning of a new era. Politics would continue 
to bedevil the Munich police. But, if only for a decade, the time of 
the assassins had passed. 



104 



No t OS 



Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October 29, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 
3081d/3. Kuchenbauer 's statement, like all the other testimony from 
file 3081d cited in this chapter, was made under oath to Investigating 
Judge Kestel during the 1924 investigation into the Hartung case. 

2 
Wilhelm Hoegner, Die verratene Republik (Munich, 1958), p. 86. 

Hoegner, a Social Democrat Landtag deputy in the 1920 's and, after 

the Second World War, Minister President of Bavaria, was an active 

participant in several of the parliamentary investigations into the 

Bavarian political murders, and his commentary is based upon these 

investigations. Hoegner 's work is one of the two most heavily used 

sources for the topic of political murder. The other is the body of 

work compiled by Emil Julius Gumbel. Gumbel's work in the early 1920 's 

led to a Reichstag investigation into the political murder issue. The 

results of this investigation, in turn, form the basis of Gumbel's 

summary work on the subject, Verrater verfallen der Feme: Opfer, Morder, 

Rlchter, 1919-1929 (Berlin, 1929). Because of the influence these works 

have exerted upon the subsequent historical treatment of the political 

murder question, and because both are subject to the charge of being 

politically biased in favor of the left, they deserve to be carefully 

checked against the available archival sources. The detailed analysis 

of the murder of Hans Hartung which forms the basis of this chapter, 

in addition to its other purposes, represents an attempt to check the 

treatments by Hoegner and Gumbel in one of the few Bavarian Feme-Mord 

cases where a comprehensive collection of primary documents exists. 

My comparison of Hoegner 's and Gumbel's respective treatments of the 

Hartung case with the material available in the seven volume, one 

thousand plus page collection of documents from the Munich Public 

Prosecutor's office suggests that the accounts of Hoegner and Gumbel 

are correct save in minor details. The reader is invited to compare the 

treatment in this chapter with these works. Similar comparisons for 

the Sandmayer and Dobner cases, although based upon much more limited 

archival material, tend to confirm the general accuracy of the Hoegner 

and Gumbel treatments. Nonetheless, I have adopted the practice of 

not citing these works unless convinced by Indepcmdcnt sources tliat 

the treatments are unaffected by political bias. 



105 



3 
After the inurder of Maria Sandmayer and the attempted murder 

of Hans Dobner, the phrase "Morderzentrale in der Ettstrasse (the address 

of the PDM) " became a Munich commonplace. See the report of Carl von 

Merz to the Police President, Munich, September 19, 1924, M Inn 71525. 

4 
Albert Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Zweiter Teil," 

in Spindler, Handbuch , Vol, IV/1, pp. 454-465, 

Pbhner's statement was made to Arnold Brecht during the latter 's 
visit to Munich in February, 1921, only weeks before the murder of Har- 
tung. See Arnold Brecht, Aus nachster Nahe: Lebenserinnerungen, 1884- 
1927 (Stuttgart, 1966), p. 332. 

James M, Diehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany (Blooming- 
ton, Indiana, 1977), pp. 91-92. See also Benz, Politik in Bayern , 
pp. 74-85, 

Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande , pp. 131-135. 

Ibid, pp. 136-137, 140. 

^Ibid, pp. 131-140. 

Testimony of Christian Leibenzeder, October 31, 1924, StAnw. 
Mu. I 3081d/3; Testimony of Joseph Kern, July 14, 1924, StAnw, Mu. I 
3081d/l. 

Hoegner, Die verratene Republik , p. 85. 

12 

Testimony of Hermann Kriebel, July 24, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 

13 

Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande , p. 139. 

14 

Hoegner, Die verratene Republik , pp. 84-85, and Nusser, Konser- 
vative Wehrverbande , p. 141. 

The basic source for the Dobner affair is the transcript of 
the Landtag hearings on the case from October, 1920, which may be 
found in StAnw. Mli. I 3123. Convenient summaries are contained in 
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik , pp. 85-86, and Nusser, Konservative 
Wehrverbande , pp. 141-142. 

Hoegner, Die verr a tene Republik , pp. 84-85. 

Ibid. For Claser's acknowledgment before a 1927 Reich stag 
committee that he had provided passports, see Nusser, Konservative 
Wehrverbande , pp. 140-141. But compare Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, 
November 21, 1924, StAnw, Mii . T 3081d/5. 



106 



18 

Transcript of T.and^^ hearings, October 1920, StAnw. Mii. T 3123. 

See also Hoegner, Die verrat ene Repiibli k, pp. 85-86. 

Verdict In tlie trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30, 
-1925, StAnw. Mii. T 3081d/7. 

Investigating Judge Kestel to tlie State I'olicc Office in 
Mannheim, January 27, 1925, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/5; Testimony of Alfred 
Zeller, September 13, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/2. 

21 

Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30, 

1925, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/7. 

22 
Ibid. 

23 

Investigating Judge Kestel to the District Court in Vilshofen, 

September 24, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3. 

24 

Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30, 

1925, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/7. Hartung's actual relationship to PDM VI 
remains a matter of mystery. Late in February 1921, Hartung appeared 
several times in the offices of PDM VI. On one occasion Hartung 
called on Kriminaloberkommissar Mayer of Desk Via to ask for infor- 
mation concerning the activities of various Communist speakers in 
Munich, apparently as part of Hartung's effort to establish himself 
as a private intelligence agent for the Civic Guard. Mayer sent 
him along to Desk VId, which was unable to help. In the same matter 
Hartung also called upon Regierungsrat Bernreuther, deputy head of 
Department VI. Bernreuther professed to recall little about the 
actual encounter. The suspicion that Hartung had actually been 
employed as an informer by PDM VI/N was emphatically denied by the 
head of that desk, Kriminal-Kommi ssar Glaser. See Testimony of 
Heinrich Mayer, October 1, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3; Testimony of 
of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3; 
Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/5. 

25 

Testimony of Alfred Zeller, September 13, 1924, StAnw. Mu. 

I 3081d/2. 

9 A 

Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mu. 
I 3081d/3. 

27 

Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30, 

1925, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/7. 

^^bid. 

29 

Testimony of Josef Zahnlc, October 29, 1924, StAnw. Mii. T 3081d/3. 



107 



30 

TesClinony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mii. T 3081d/l. 

31 

Testimony of Adolf Hcinsen, Septombcr 18, 1924, StAnw. Mii. T 

3()81d/2; Institute of Legal Medicine at tlie University of Municli to 

invest if'.atinj', Jiulj'.e Kestel , November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3()81d/3. 

lleinsen was tlie physician who performed tlie original autopsy. 

32 

Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October 29, 1924, StAnw. Mii. 

I 3081d/3. 

33 

Ibid. See also the Testimony of Josef Zahnle, October 29, 

1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/3. 

Ibid. 

35 

Investigating Judge Kestel to the Gendarmerie Station Friedberg, 

November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/5. 

36 

Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 

37 

Testimony of Anton Messerer, October 29, 1924, and Testimony of 

Georg Gareis, October 29, 1924, both StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3. 

38 

Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30, 

1925, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/7. 

39 

Testimony of Lorenz Link, September 18, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 

3081d/2. 

40 

Testimony of Johann Fell, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3. 

41 

Testimony of Friedrich Stein, October 23, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 

3081d/3. 

42 

Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 

3081d/3. 

43 

Testimony of Johann Gehauf, September 25, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 

3081d/2; Testimony of Johann Fell, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3; 

Testimony of Heinrich Becher, October 25, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3. 

44 

Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mil. I 

3081d/3; Testimony of Johann Gehauf, September 25, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 

3081d/2. 

'^^Ibid. 

Testimony of Johann Fell, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/3. 



108 



^^bid. 

48 

Testimony of Car] von Merz , October Ik, 1924, StAnw. Mii . T 

3081d/3. 

TosLimony of Jolmnn Ccliaur, Sc'i^tt-mlier 25, 192A, StAnw. Mil. T 
3081cl/2. 

Report of Carl von Merz to the Police President, Munich, 
September 19, 1924, M Inn 71525. 

Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 
3081d/3. 

52 

Ibid. See also Testimony of Franz Ott, October 20, 1924, 

StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3. 

Ibid. 

54 

Ibid. See also Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924, 

StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 

Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30, 
1925, StAnw. Mil. I 3081d/7; Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October 
29, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3. 

Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 
3081d/3; Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 
3081d/l; Arrest Warrant for Hermann Berchtold, November 4, 1924, 
StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3. See also Hoegner, Die verratene Republik , 
p. 88. 

Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 

58 

Ibid. See also Testimony of Hermann Kraus , July 31, 1924, 

StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 
Ibid. 

Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3, 
Ibid. 

^^Ibid. 

63 

Testimony of Hermann Kraus, July 31, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 



109 



Ibid. 

Tbid. See also Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, 
StAnw. Mil. I 3081d/l. 

Ibid . 

Wilhelm Krick to Investigating Judge Kestel, September 10, 
1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/2. 

Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 
3081d/3; Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mu. 
I 3081d/3. 

69 

Testimony of Franz Ott, October 20, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/3. 

70 

Testimony of Walter Schenk, July 28, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 

Testimony of Adam Stumpfig, July 22, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/l. 

72 

Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw. 

Mu. I 3081d/3. 

73 

Testimony of Max Neunzert, September 26, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 

3081d/2. 

Ibid. 

Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 24, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 
3081d/3; Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw. 
Mu. I 3081d/3; Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. 
Mu. I 3081d/5; Testimony of Ernst Pbhner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mu. 
I 3081d/l. 

76^ . ^ , 

Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 

3081d/3; Testimony of Johann Gehauf, Septmeber 25, 1924, StAnw. Mii. 

I 3081d/2; Testimony of Johann Fell, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mu. 

I 3081d/3. 

Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mii. 
I 3081d/5. 

78 

Testimony of Frank Ritter von Epp, September 23, 1924, StAnw. 

Mu. I 3081d/2. 

79 

Testimony of Hermann Kriebel, July 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/l, 

80 

Testimony of Max Neunzert, September 26, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 

3081d/2. 



no 



Q 1 

Pohner's statement is from Brecht, Aus nachstcr Nahe , pp. 332-333. 
See also Testimony of Ernst Pbhner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l; 
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Novcmlier 10, 1924, StAnw. Mii. T 3081(1/S; 
Testimony of Friedrlcli Claser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081cl/5. 
Poliner's most widely reported comment on the suJTJect of political murder 
comes from F.rnst Rijlim. Responding to tlio Iireatliless comment tiiat there 
were political murderers in Munich, I'iiiiuier reportedly remariced, "Yes, 
yes, but too few." Rohm is not always a reliable source, but the comment 
coincides with many other statements by Pohner, both in form and 
substance. 

Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/5, 

^^Ibid. 

84 

The student of Latin American affairs will recognize similarities 

between the "indirect police terror" described here and practices 

followed by the current regime in Argentina. 

85 

Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 

3081d/5; Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw. 

Mu. I 3081d/3. The significant point is that neither Frick nor 

Bernreuther take the opportunity to deny this rumor categorically, 

but instead confine themselves to insisting that they were not present 

at such a meeting. 

Cited m Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande , p. 140. 

87 

See Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , pp. 140-141 

for Pohner's aptitude in protecting his background position. Although 
Pohner's of f-the-record language gave the appearance of carelessness, 
his responses for the record on specific cases were always phrased in 
a manner calculated to prevent self-incrimination. Typically, phrases 
such as "That could have happened, but I don't recall" abound in 
Pohner's statements whenever the issue appears to be either self- 
incrimination or perjury. For an example of Pohner in fine legalistic 
form, see Testimony of Ernst Pohner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l. 

88 

Report to Reich Chancellor Dr. Wirth, August 31, 1922, BAK 

R43I/2731. This report, prepared by Social Democrat sources in Munich, 
contains a comprehensive Indictment of the PDM's abuse of power. It 
discusses all the political murder cases with detailed accuracy, if 
somewhat stridently. It further describes an illegal break-in orche- 
strated by Glaser. The description deserves to be quoted in full: "Im 
Bayerischen Landtag musste nach Vorhalt der Sozialdemokraten der 
Staatsminister des Innern zugeben, dass ein Polizeibeamter vermeintlich 
politlsche Akten aus einer Privatwohnung entwenden wollte, dass der 
Mann vom Wohnungsinhaber dabei abgefasst und an eimen stillen Ort 
eingesperrt wurde, dass Herr Glaser auf telephonisclien Anruf, in der 



Ill 



Meinung, es sel der betreffende Beamte, seine Freude zum Ausdruck 
gebracht hatte, dass der Elnbruch gelungen sel." Watergate on the 
Isar ! 

89 

Testimony of Friedrlch Glnscr, November 21, 192^1, StAnw. Mil. I 

3()81d/5. Compare Claser'.s age and rank with that of other PDM officiTs 
whose testimony is cited in this cliapter. l''or Claser's presence at the 
December 7, 1920 meeting, and for Pohner's evaluation of the sensi- 
tivity of the post Glaser would occupy, see "Protokoll iiber die am 
7. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau des Nachrichtendienstes ," Reg. 
V. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228. 

90 

Cited in Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande , pp. 140-141. On 

the passport question, see also Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechts- 

radikalismus , pp. 140-141, and Jasper, Der Schutz der Republlk , 

pp. 123-124. 

91 

Hoegner, Die verratene Republik , pp. 88-89. The Gareis murder 

case was never solved. Later evidence pointed to the participation 

of Erwin Kern, a member of the Organisation Consul and one of the 

murderers of Walter Rathenau. See Jasper, Der Schutz der Republik , 

p. 112. An extensive, but inconclusive collection of police materials 

on the case may be found in StAnw. Mu. I 3088. These materials, 

which represent an investigation of a connection between the Gareis 

and Erzberger murders do not permit the identification of a prime 

suspect, but do serve to illustrate the amount of time the Munich 

police put in trying to pin the crime on an acquaintance of Gareis 's. 

The circumstantial evidence in the case, nonetheless, pointed clearly 

to right-wing involvement. 

92 

For Erzberger s political career from 1917 onward, see Klaus 

Epstein, Matthias Erzberger and the Dilemma of German Democracy (Prince- 
ton, 1959), pp. 182-389. For the right-wing campaign against Erzberger, 
see the files collected on this subject by the Reich government, 
BAK R43I/936-937. 

93 

Jasper, Der Schutz der Republik , pp. 123-125. Jasper's treatment 

of the Erzberger assassination is based upon the files of the Baden 

public prosecutor in charge of the case, and is the most thorough and 

carefully documented historical treatment of the subject. A good 

summary treatment in English is that of Diehl, Paramilitary Politics , 

pp. 107-115, especially p. 112. 

94 

For the impact of PDM actions on relations between Baden and 

Bavaria, see Wolfgang Benz, Sii ddeutschland in der Weimarer R epublik 

(Berlin, 1970), pp. 312-313. For the Organisation Consul , see Jasper, 

Der Schutz der Republik , pp. 109-125. On 124-126 Jasper also reports 

in detail upon the reponses of the Baden police officers to the 

behavior of the PDM. 

95 

Jasper, Der Schutz der Repu lilik, pp. 44-4 5. 



CHAPTER 3 
TIIK POLJTICAI. I'OLJCK AND Till!; 15EKR HALL PUTSCH, 1921-]923 



The Lerchenfeld era opened with a promise of change in the 
political climate within Bavaria and with the hope of better future 
relations between Bavaria and the republic. The new Minister 
President's middle of the road stance pleased the moderate element 
in the BVP, the DDP, which participated in the new government, and 
the Social Democrats, For the first time since 1919 the chance 
existed for a shift in the Bavarian political balance from the right 
to the center of the political spectrum, Lerchenfeld ' s professional 
background as a diplomat in the service of the Reich government 
suggested a capacity for dealing with the problems which divided 
Munich and Berlin. The promise of change within Bavaria could 
not be kept, however, and the hope for an improvement in relations 
with the republic would soon be dashed. 

The same qualities which commended Lerchenfeld to the moderates 
made him anathema to the radical right. The formal dissolution of 
the Civic Guard had not reduced the role of right-wing paramilitary 
organizations in Bavaria. The Guard's own direct successor, the 
Organisation Pittinger — in 1922 renamed Bund Bayern und Reic h — 
continued its predecessor's influence upon the Bavarian political 
situation. The new leader, Pittinger, however, represented a more 



1 L2 



113 



traditionally conservative clement within the overall composition 
of the radical rLj;]it. The younger and more avowedly radical elements 
from tlie old Civic Guard thus drifted away into a variety of other 
paramilitary groups, the Bund Oberland , the Bund Wiking , a successor 
to the Organisation Consul , the Nazi party's SA, the "Storm Troopers," 
and a number of other, lesser organizations. The composition of 
these groups, labelled collectively the Vaterlandische Verbande , or, 
"Patriotic Associations," changed constantly as individual members 
sought the most congenial organizational environment for their own 
particular political views. But despite differences on specific 
issues, the Patriotic Associations came increasingly to resemble 
one another and to share a common political line vis-a-vis the 
Lerchenfeld government. That line was one of unremitting hostility. 
The Patriotic Associations, from the Organisation Pittinger to the 
most extremely radical splinter group, all regarded the BVP's 
withdrawal of support from Kahr and the choice of Lerchenfeld to 

succeed him as a betrayal of the nationalist struggle against the 

2 
republic. In this they were joined by the Bavarian DNVP, and the 

3 
more radical element within the BVP itself. From the very beginning 

the Lerchenfeld government came under bitter attack from these 

strong and, as events would prove, Implacable enemies. 

Rumors of a putsch in support of Kahr had accompanied the final 

days of his administration. These rumors were never confirmed by 

a revelation of concrete putsch plans, however, although the Pittinger 



114 



group had, at the very least, attempted to pressure the Landtag to 
rt'taln Kalir through a sliow of force. This attempt to replicate the 
Civic Guard's political success in March 1920 nonetheless failed 
to prevent the election of Lerchenfeld. The Patriotic Associations 
drew back briefly to regroup before opening a new round in the 
battle for political dominance in Bavaria. While the paramilitary 
groups hovered threateningly in the background, more immediate 
problems for Lerchenfeld surfaced within the ranks of his own party. 
Having successfully rid itself of Kahr, the BVP soon discovered 
that this step had won little favor with the Bavarian public. It 
became clear that, given the temper of the times, Kahr's intransigence 
was more appealing than the moderation of Lerchenfeld. The Patriotic 
Associations and the DNVP gathered around Kahr in his new capacity 
as Provincial President of Upper Bavaria — the province which 
Included Munich — and from this base began a campaign to discredit 
Lerchenfeld and build support for Kahr's return to statewide power. 
This campaign fed popular discontent with Lerchenfeld and strengthened 
the position of the radical right-wing element within the BVP 
itself. The efforts of Interior Minister Schweyer to increase 
control over the Patriotic Associations received little support from 
the party. In March 1922, the BVP tried to bring the DNVP back into 
the governing coalition, in order to foreclose any further movement 
toward the center. The BVP's trust in Lerchenfeld was rapidly 
declining. 



115 



The Lerchenfeld government could not live comfortably with the 
radical right yet, given the power relations in Bavaria at the time, 
it could not live witiiout It either. The result was constant 
fluctuation, an unsteady course which elicited contempt from all 
quarters and promoted dissension within the government's nominal 
base of support, the BVP. Under such conditions the government could 
achieve little more for itself than survival. 

The deepening economic crisis added to Lerchenfeld 's already 
difficult task. Although the collapse of political stability in 
Germany was often associated with the runaway inflation in 1923, 
the damage had largely been done by the autumn of 1922. Inflation 
had increased steadily since the beginning of the First World War. 
After the war the increase accelerated. The man who had put aside 
50,000 Marks in the prewar period found that in the middle of 1922 
this amount would purchase only 5,000 Marks worth of goods and 
services; by the end of 1922 the value had sunk to 20 Marks. In 
other words, inflation had transformed a comfortable nest egg, an 
Individual's dream of secure retirement, into a week's pocket money. 
The wild inflation of the year 1923 only represented the monetary 
system's final reduction to absurdity. To put the matter in terms 
every Bavarian could understand, in 1918 a glass of beer cost only 
17 Pfennig; by the end of 1922 the price had risen to 60 Marks, or 
300 times as much. At such prices an evening at the beer hall gave 
little cause for GemiJtlichkeit . 



116 



Even the political police suffered from the increase in the 
price of beer. On September 26, 1922, the PDM addressed a plaintive 
request for more funds to the Ministry of the Interior, justifying 
its plea in the following terms: 

.... Today the price of beer already exceeds 30 
Marks. The officers assigned to observe political 
gatherings in beer halls frequently must remain 
on duty for four to six hours, often until well 
past midnight. It is hard for them to make out 
without something to eat and to drink. In some 
places an officer cannot bring his own food 
and drink without calling unwanted attention to 
himself. Further, to the essential outlays for 
food and drink must be added increased entrance 
costs, clothing expenses, etc. Tlie political 
situation .... makes the close surveillance of 
public political gatherings absolutely essential. 
This duty creates impossible demands for the 
assigned officers, who find it necessary to dip 
into their own pockets to meet these substantial 
expenses. ° 

The Ministry, however, needed little reminder of such problems, 
for the consequences of inflation, not only for the political 
police, but throughout all of society, were only too easy to see. 

The problems facing the government did not end with the increase 
in operational expenses. More fundamentally, the deepening economic 
crisis heightened political tensions in Munich and throughout 
Bavaria, adding a bitter edge to the already acrimonious political 
atmosphere. Popular opinion linked the deteriorating economic 
situation to Germany's reparations obligations under the Versailles 
treaty and attached the blnme for these conditions to the republican 



117 



leadership. The Reich government's efforts to make the best of a bad 
bargain won little |uil)] Ic credit. Both tlie radical loft and the 
radical rij'jiL soiij'Jit to exploit tliis widespread discontent. In 
March 1921, the Communists had attempted a rising in northern 
Germany, and although the rising had been suppressed, their influence 

in states such as Saxony and Thuringia appeared once again to be on 

9 
the ascendant. The radical right, in turn, used this Communist 

threat to build further support for its own cause, adding the 

Communist menace in its resurgent form to the already lengthy list 

of sins attributed by the right to the republican leaders. 

Until his assassination in 1921, the focal point of this 

hostility had been Matthias Erzberger. After Erzberger's death, the 

right increasingly fixed its hatred upon the republic's Foreign 

Minister, Walter Rathenau. Rathenau's vital services to the German 

cause during the First World War counted little with the right-wing 

against the fact that Rathenau had become a leading exponent of the 

policy of "fulfillment," the attempt to improve Germany's position 

through cooperation with its former enemies, and against the fact 

that Rathenau was Jewish. The attitude of the radical right found 

expression in a popular ditty, which ended with the following couplet: 



Knallt ab den Walter Rathenau, 
die gottverf luchte Judensau 



or, literally: 



118 



Shoot down Walter Rathenau, 
the god-damned Jewish pig. 



On .Iiiiu' 2A, \9'A2, four days berore tht; tlilrd anniversary of the 
signing of the Versailles treaty, a group of young rightists, led 
by two members of the Organisation Consul , carried out the sentiment 
of this ugly song. They lay in wait for Rathenau 's car on its way 
from his home in a Berlin suburb to his office in the city and, as 
it passed, sprayed it with a fusillade from a submachine gun. The 
two murderers fled in the direction of Bavaria. Shortly before 
crossing the Bavarian border, they were trapped in an isolated castle 
by the pursuing Berlin police and were killed in the subsequent 

shoot-out. Their accomplices, however, were captured, tried, and 

^ 12 
convicted. 

The bullets which felled Walter Rathenau also struck down the 
Lerchenfeld government. In the face of a rising tide of anti- 
Semitic and anti-republican feeling in Bavaria, Count Lerchenfeld 
had taken a strong personal stand. Several months before Rathenau 's 
assassination, in a major speech before the Landtag , Lerchenfeld 
had condemned the right's anti-Semitism and called for a more 
reasonable attitude toward the republican government in Berlin. 
Lerchenfeld 's courageous speech won applause from moderates and 
vilification from the radical right. In addition to their public 

attacks on Lerchenfeld, the radical right now initiated a whispering 

13 
campaign of character assassination against him. With his Landtag 



119 



speech Lerchenfeld had irremediably identified himself with all that 
was luited l)y tlie rij'ht in Bavaria, and, in tlie crisis whicli rollowcd 
the Rathenau assassination, he would find that the right could no 
longer be conciliated short of his own resignation. 

Buoyed by a tide of public feeling even greater than that 
provoked by the murder of Erzberger, the Reich government announced 
a series of emergency measures for the defense of the republic. The 
decree permitted the ban of all meetings and demonstrations at which 
individuals might be incited to illegal actions against the 
republican state or to acts of violence against members of the 
government. It set stiff penalties for acts of violence against 
the republic and its political leaders. The decrees established 
a special court for the trial of these cases. These measures, in 

their original form, all depended upon the support of the police 

14 
authorities of the various states for their effectiveness. The 

government, however, had recognized this flaw — previous experience 

had taught them that local police cooperation could not be counted 

upon. To free itself from dependence upon the woodwill of the state 

governments and the local police forces, the republican leadership 

resolved to push the passage of a law creating a federal police 

agency, with broad political police powers. Coupled with the other 

emergency decrees, which the government also wanted to transform 

into permanent laws, the new federal police would allow a strong 

counterattack against the enemies of the republic, left and right. 



120 



In the aftermath of the Rathenau assassination little thought 
was given to tlie possible application of tiiese measures to the radical 
Jeft. On June 30, the Reich Chancellor, .losef Wirtli oL" the Center 
Party, had stood before the Reichstag and made his government's 
position in the crisis clear: "The enemy stands on the right." 
His words set the tone for the introduction of the new federal police 
law, the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz , one week later. With the 
Introduction of this proposal a new and violent debate broke out, 
within the Reichstag , between the states and the central government, 
in the press, and in the streets. 

A first attempt to create such an agency had been ventured in 
1920. At that time Prussia had led a successful fight against the 
federal police law, while Bavaria, seeing the utility of a national 
political police in the fight against Communism, had strongly sup- 
ported it. With the reintroductlon of the law in the summer of 
1922, the tables were turned, Lerchenfeld himself might be willing 
to negotiate, but for the radical right there could be no negotiation. 
The "Law for the Defense of the Republic" was an attack upon their 
position of power. And the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz , with its 
provision for a political police force responsive to the government 
in Berlin, threatened their secure base in Bavaria. The radical 
right in Munich had been spoiled by the Pohner regime. It expected 
the indulgence of the political police, at the very least. Without 
such indulgence, the "cell of order" could not be maintained. 



121 



Lcrclienfeld realized that such an attack upon the position of the 
radical riglit in Bavaria would be met with violence. In his own 
words, "H a federal police office is set up in Munich, tlien there 
will be murder," And as Lerchenfeld well knew, if he allowed such 
an office to be set up in Munich, his own days in office would be 
numbered as well. 

On July 21, 1922, the "Law for the Defense of the Republic" 
took effect throughout Germany. The next day the political leaders 
of the BVP joined with Count Lerchenfeld and other members of his 
cabinet to decide upon a Bavarian response. Lerchenfeld proposed 
a battle of attrition, in which Bavaria would make no specific 
countermove, but rather drag its feet in carrying out the new law. 
Instead, the party leaders opted for the hard line advocated by the 
party right-wing. Surprisingly, even the normally moderate Schweyer 
aligned himself with the hard line position. Only by taking a strong 
stance against the new law, it was believed, could the BVP preserve 
itself from a further loss of popular support. The party had been 
hurt by the rightward shift of public opinion after Kahr's resigna- 
tion; it did not intend to be caught to the left of its supporters 

. 18 
once again. 

To counter the "Law for the Defense of the Republic," the 

Bavarian government announced its own "Decree for the Defense of the 

Constitution of the Republic" on July 24. The Bavarian decree 

reproduced most of the provisions of the national law, but with one 



122 



salient difference. Enforcement would be the province of the state 
and not national authorities. Police agents of the Reich wore 
forbidden to act independently within tiie borders of Bavaria. So 
structured, the Btivarian decree made the issue appear to be a matter 
of state versus national rights in an area traditionally regarded 
as the preserve of the states. The title of the Bavarian decree and 
its preamble, which attacked the constitutionality of the "Law for 

the Defense of the Republic," were meant to underscore this interpre- 

19 
tation of the Bavarian gesture. With memories of the behavior 

of the PDM in the Erzberger case still fresh, few moderates, either 

within Bavaria or without, were prepared to accept the sincerity of 

the Bavarian government's argument that the issue was constitutional. 

Although Lerchenfeld's own personal integrity was widely recognized, 

it was equally clear that his government stood under heavy pressure 

from the radical right and that, without that pressure, his government 

would have followed a more accommodating course. The issue, squarely 

put, was whether Bavaria would be allowed to continue as a privileged 

20 
sanctuary for right-wing terrorists. 

Seeing this, the representative of the moderate DDP resigned 

from the Lerchenfeld cabinet. The BVP political leadership seized 

the chance to revive their efforts of the previous spring to bring 

the DNVP back into the Bavarian government. This time they were 

successful and, with the entry into the cabinet of the DNVP's 

Franz Gurtner as Justice Minister, the long-sought creation of a 



123 



right-wing counterbalance to the moderate Lerchenfeld was completed, 
Lerclienfcld was now even more dependent on the extreme right. 

Witli tlie promulgation of the IJavarian counter-decree on .July 
24, the Lerchenfeld government had challenged the very basis of the 
"Law for the Defense of the Republic." The leftists, united for 
once on an issue, now began to exert pressure upon the Reich 
government. In the midst of this pressure President Ebert directed 
a conciliatory letter to Lerchenfeld. While the extremists on both 
sides were girding for battle, the moderates sought a negotiated 
resolution to the conflict. The Reich government, to be sure, had 
already taken the position that the Bavarian decree was unconstitu- 
tional. It chose, however, not to press the issue for fear of 

undermining Lerchenfeld 's position — under no circumstances did the 

22 
national leadership wish to see Lerchenfeld replaced with Kahr. 

On August 9 Lerchenfeld led a Bavarian delegation to Berlin to open 

negotiations. Two days later, a tentative agreement was reached. 

The Bavarian government would retract its own decree; in return, it 

received assurances that only the most important political cases would 

be tried before the special court created under the "Law for the 

Defense of the Republic," that a second such court would be created 

in cooperation with the south German state governments to try cases 

arising in that region, and that no federal police officers would 

opperate within a state without the express consent of that state, 

except when in cases of the most urgent national interest. Lerchenfeld 

23 
was content with these results. 



124 



Upon returning to Munich, however, he discovered that the 
coalition parties were unwilling to ratify the results of his 
negotiations. On August 17 the assembled Landtag deputies of the 
BVP and the DNVP voted to reject the Berlin agreement, on the grounds 
that the assurances of the Reich government were not strong enough. 
This gesture to public opinion resulted in yet a further round of 
negotiations before agreement was finally reached. On August 25 
the Bavarian government withdrew its own decree and allowed the "Law 

9/ 

for the Defense of the Republic" to take effect in Bavaria. 

Lerchenfeld's compromise, in fact, was a noteworthy victory 
for the Bavarian government. Bavaria would have a say in the compo- 
sition of any court empowered to try cases arising from events in 
the state. Moreover, the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz had been 
rendered toothless. As the police from Baden had discovered in the 
Erzberger case, any attempt to operate with the consent and cooperation 
of the Bavarian police was tantamount to simply giving up the matter — 
at least when the suspect had right-wing connections. The law 

creating a federal police office, although passed by the Reichstag , 

25 
would never be implemented. 

But Lerchenfeld's victory still looked too much like a defeat 

to the radical right. On August 16, the day before the BVP and DNVP 

Landtag delegations voted to reject the original compromise with 

Berlin, the Patriotic Associations had mustered a crowd of 50,000 

demonstrators at Munich's Konigsplatz to protest the agreement; this 



125 



demonstration was very much on the minds of the deputies as they 
voted. The further assurances attained by Lerchenfeld from the Reich 
government likewise failed to please the radical right — nothing 
less than a firm rejection of the "Law for the Defense of tlie 
Republic" and its accompanying legislation would do. On August 25 the 
Patriotic Associations staged yet another massive demonstration in 
Munich. By this point their tone, indeed, had become so threatening 
that the government was forced to reckon with a possible putsch 
attempt. Under orders from the cabinet. Police President Nortz 
banned the August 25 demonstration; the ban, however, was issued too 
late to prevent the demonstration from taking place, even had the 
Patriotic Associations been willing to comply. The ban produced 

nothing save an increase in hostility between the radical right and 

26 
the government . 

The government's fears of a putsch attempt had not been far 
wrong. Ernst Rohm, an army staff officer with manifold connections 
to the Patriotic Associations, Pohner, and Pittinger sought to 
organize just such a stroke. Their first efforts proved fruitless. 
General von Mohl, the commander of the Bavarian Reichswehr , showed 
interest, but was unwilling to act without the cooperation of the 
BVP circles around Georg Heim. When approached by the conspirators, 
Heim, too, showed interest, but could not be moved to an open commit- 
ment. With this, the military concluded that the time was not yet 
ripe for action. Pittinger and Pohner then turned to Hitler, hoping 



126 



with his help to transform the August 25 demonstration into a toppling 
blow against the Lerchenfcld government. The matter was left until 
too Jate, and nothing could l)e done. Tlie only concrete result was 
a break between Rohm and Pittinger. Disgusted with Pittinger's 
apparent indecisiveness, Rohm now placed his not inconsiderable 
influence in the service of the more radical patriotic associations.^^ 

The crisis had passed, but the situation remained tense. The 
National Socialists were growing stronger, and Hitler was rapidly 
emerging as a spokesman for the entire radical right. The Patriotic 
Associations would now settle for nothing less than the destruction 
of the Lerchenfeld government. The government itself saw the danger 
only too clearly. A spokesman close to the cabinet remarked after 
the disturbances of August 25 that, "If it comes to a putsch by the 
right, we can count on neither the army, nor the police, much less 

the elements of the former Civic Guard to protect us; they would more 

28 
likely support the putsch." 

Despite this uneasiness, however, the political police remained 
the government's first line of defense. Confronted by the pressing 
danger of a right-wing revolt and the ever deteriorating economic 
situation, the government resolved to improve the existing political 
police network. The informal agreement reached during the December 7, 
1920, meeting at the PDM had sufficed as a means of coordinating 
political intelligence so long as the leading police officials were 
of one mind on the purposes of political intelligence and so long as 



127 



a strong hand — Pohner's hand — guided its overall operations. With 
the fall of Pohner and the break between the government and the 
radical right, this unity no longer existed. Only a formal regulation 
of the political intelligence service, accompanied by a strong 
statement of intention on the part of the government, could establish 
a political intelligence service in any way responsive to the govern- 
ment's needs. In the face of a possible putsch on August 25 the 
government had been dependent upon rumors; the next time this might 
not be enough. 

To meet this need, the Ministry of the Interior issued a secret 
decree on October 24, 1922, creating a statewide political police 
intelligence service. In its preamble the decree referred explicitly 
to the August disturbances and both the preamble and the body of the 
decree laid great stress upon the careful surveillance of the radical 
right as well as the radical left. The objects of surveillance were 
to be the radical movements in Bavaria, The plural "movements" 
-marked a departure from previous language, and few who read the 
decree could mistake the government's intent. The left might remain 
as the long-range enemy — the decree gave no indication of a change 
of heart there — but, in the midst of the current crisis atmosphere, 

Lerchenfeld and Schweyer were telling the police that the most active 

29 
enemy stood on the right. 

The actual provisions of the decree followed closely the guidelines 
established by Frick in December 1920. The decree specified that 



128 



the political information desk at the PDM, desk VI/N, would serve 
as the central intelligence office for the entire state. It would 
simultaneously serve ns the intermediate collection and disscminatifm 
center for the three provinces of southern Bavaria and the Rhine 
Palatinate. For the four northern Bavarian provinces, the State 
Police Office Nuremberg-Furth, which had replaced the Polizeistelle 
Nordbayern in Bamberg, would perform the same role." All contacts 
with political police agencies outside of Bavaria would be routed 
through the Ministry of the Interior or PDM VI/N — with the contro- 
versy over outside police agents in Bavaria fresh in its memory, the 
government had no intention of allowing itself to be circumvented 
through any backdoor arrangement. In the normal course of events the 
two central offices in Munich and Nuremberg were to operate through 
the police sections of the provincial district officer ( Bezirksamter ) , 
except, of course, in their own local spheres of responsibility. 

But, whenever necessary, the political intelligence officers in 

30 
Munich and Nuremberg could intervene directly anywhere in the state. 

The decree called for the weekly provision of situation reports 

by the central offices in Munich and Nuremberg to the Ministry of the 

Interior and to the provincial presidia. Without the express 

permission of the Ministry of the Interior, these reports were not to 



*The creation of the State Police Office Nuremberg-Fiirth will be dis- 
cussed in detail in Chapter 4, as part of the larger discussion of the 
issue of Verstaatlichung , the state take-over of the municipal police. 



129 



be circulated to other agencies — another broad reference to the fear 
of outsiders. The situation reports, further, were not to duplicate 
the regular political reports of the provincial prcsldia, which 
presented a general overview of the political situation. The situation 
reports of the political intelligence service were to concentrate 
upon specific events and action, especially those of a subversive 

nature. Information of special urgency was to be reported inraiediately 

31 
to the Ministry, without regard for the normal reporting interval. 

With the decree of October 24, 1922, the government had provided 

itself, at least formally, with an instrument which could help it 

anticipate a putsch threat. As events soon proved, the government 

faced an even more basic threat to its continued existence from 

within the ranks of its nominal supporters. Without waiting for 

more violent action, Lerchenf eld ' s enemies resolved to drive him 

from office with a political smear campaign. The campaign did not 

stop with the usual political criticisms; in a calculated attempt to 

discredit Lerchenf eld in the eyes of the BVP's Catholic following, 

his enemies exploited the proceedings of a divorce case to spread 

rumors about the marital discretions of his wife. The perpetrators 



'■'The quality of intelligence reportage produced by the political 
Intelligence network during 1923 will be discussed in the context of 
specific events throughout the remainder of the chapter. An overall 
evaluation of the political police intelligence, based upon the reports 
themselves, will be presented during the discussion of organizational 
developments in Chapter 4. 



130 




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131 



of this viciousness were not just Lerchenf eld 's sworn enemies in the 

I'atr.loLic Assoc i;it Ions. Inriuentlal figures within tlio BVI' leadcrsli i p 

32 
itself also contributed to this campaign of slander. 

Lerchenf eld 's personel situation had become impossible. Drawing 
the only possible conclusion from the manifest hostility of his 
erstwhile political backers, Lerchenf eld resigned on November 2. 
The radical right rejoiced, convinced that the way was now clear for 
the return to power of Kahr. But the BVP was not yet prepared to 
go that far. In choosing Lerchenfeld the party had evinced its 
desire for a man it could control. This attitude did not change, 
even when Lerchenfeld himself proved to be a political liability. 
Kahr was too independent of the BVP and too dependent upon the 
Patriotic Associations to find much favor with the party. The party 
likewise rejected the idea of placing one of its own political 
leaders, someone such as Heim or the head of the Landtag delegation, 
Heinrich Held, in the Minister President's chair. Instead the party 
selected Eugen von Knilling, another former civil servent, to lead 
the cabinet. The remaining positions in the cabinet went unchanged. 
Schweyer continued to head the Ministry of the Interior — a con- 
siderable disappointment to the Patriotic Associations, who hated 
him even more than Lerchenfeld. Gurtner also retained his position, 

preserving the influence of the more decidedly right-wing DNVP in the 

33 

government. 

The substitution of Knilling for Lerchenfeld was just that — a 
substitution — and not the sign of a major change In policy. The 



132 



divisions of opinion within the BVP prevented that party from speaking 
with one voice. Tlie moderates within the party had acquired a 
suspicion of the radical right to go with tlieir estahlished fear of 
the radical left, while the party's right wing shared many of the 
sentiments of the radical right. Moreover, the BVP, despite its 
generally conservative and monarchist-authoritarian ideology, was 
democratic in the sense of being responsive to public feeling. 
Popular attitudes, as the party had discovered during the previous 
year, were heavily influenced by the Patriotic Associations and the 
parties of the radical right. While the radicals were also divided 
on many issues, they had, in Adolf Hitler, a powerful spokesman for 
their general position. Hitler's unquestionable rhetorical skills 
gave his party a place within the right-wing movement out of all 
proportion to its actual strength. The memories of 1919, seasoned by 
the subsequent years of political and economic crisis and kept fresh 
by the propaganda activities of Hitler and other radical leaders, 
held public opinion on a rightward course. Although many within the 
party might struggle against it, the party was being pulled along 
with the tide. Knilling, as a moderate, found himself to the left of 
his own party, no better placed than Lerchenfeld to control the onrush 
or events. 

The radical right's disappointment with the selection of Knilling 
kept the danger of a putsch alive. The centralization of the political 
police carried out under the Lerchenfeld government now had to be 



133 



implemented, which required careful consultation between the affected 
agencies. To this end a conference was called on November 24, 1922, 
at the PDM. The roster of those attending revealed many names 
familiar from the earlier meeting of December 7, 1920. Pohner and 
Frick were, of course, absent, but they were represented, in a sense, 
by the new head of PDM VI, Friedrich Bernreuther. Bernreuther had 
assisted Frick at the December 1920 meeting and had been deeply 
involved in the informal political intelligence service which had 
been established as a result of that meeting. By experience he was 
eminently qualified to explain to the conference participants how the 
newly-formalized system would work. 

Bernreuther began the discussion by recalling the previous 
gathering and outlining the developments which had taken place since 
that time. He then briefly reviewed the substance of the new decree 
before moving to a more detailed discussion of the goals and methods 
of police surveillance under the new system. By closely following 
the activities of the radical political movements, the political 
intelligence service would materially assist the government in 
preventing disturbances and anticipating threats to the security of 
the state. Having made this nod in the direction of the government's 

own intentions, as expressed in the October decree, Bernreuther then 

3S 
introduced a measure not mentioned in the decree. 

The Ministry of the Interior had envisaged only an occasional 

intervention by the Munich and Nuremberg central offices in the business 



134 



of running agents and collecting information, except within these 
offices on local spheres of responsibility. The decree, to be sure, 
had empowered the central offices to intervene in other local 
jurisdictions when necessary, but its language had clearly suggested 
that these were to be temporary, emergency interventions. Bernreuther 
now proposed that, in addition to the efforts of the various pro- 
vincial district offices, the two central offices would assign special 
detachments to the most important localities. These detachments 
would operate independently of the police sections in the local 
district offices, maintaining their own separate network of informers. 
Although the special detachments would cooperate with local police 
officials and share information, they would not disclose the indentities 
of these informers to their local opposite numbers. Only the two 
central offices would have a master list of all the political informers 
serving the political police throughout the state. The central 
offices thus assumed authority for the "tactical" employment of agents 
in all politically sensitive jurisdictions, in addition to the 
"strategic" role of coordination assigned to these offices in the 
Ministry's decree. 

Bernreuther 's proposal found general agreement in the discussion 
which followed. As in the case of the 1920 meeting, no one appeared 
alarmed at the aggrandizement of power by the central offices. Partly 
this reflected the distaste expressed by certain provincial officials 
for the actual business of running undercover agents. Then, too, the 



135 



Ministry had promised additional funding only for the two central 
offices — the provincial and district authorities were relieved not 
to have to add the cost of paying informers to their already strained 
budgets. Most of all, the consensus of opinion attained by Pohner and 
Frick in 1920 concerning the goals and methods of the political 
intelligence service remained intact. The officials involved in the 
political intelligence service had trusted the leadership of Pohner 
and Frick, and were pepared to extend a similar trust to their former 
subordinate. Despite the Ministry of the Interior's evident desire 
to make the political intelligence service more responsive to the 

government's political needs, the atmosphere at the November 24, 1922, 

37 
meeting was one of business as usual. 

With agreement reached on Bernreuther ' s basic proposal, the 

conference turned to the question of which localities would receive 

special political police detachments. Twenty-seven cities and towns 

were identified as political danger centers requiring such installa- 

38 
tions. With detachments in so many different areas throughout the 

state, the new power of the central offices would be extensive indeed. 
The political intelligence offices in Munich and Nuremberg would be 
largely independent of other agencies for their sources of informa- 
tion. Without direct control over the informer system in their own 
jurisdictions and, thus, with little incentive to actually run 
informers, the provincial authorities would place increasing reliance 
upon overt sources — the analysis of the local press and the 



136 



observation of public political meetings — as a basis for their own 
reports to the Ministry. The tendency of tliese reports to l^ecome 
little more than opinion surveys, already evident since 1920, would 
become even more pronounced. The central offices' effective monopoly 

over the collection, analysis, and dissemination of secret political 

39 
intelligence would likewise become more pronounced. And Bernreuther 

would stand at the center of the system as head of PDM VI. 

The significance of PDM VI within the political intelligence 

system would have been great even without these organizational 

developments, for Munich was the center of political activity in the 

state. With the onset of the new year, the pace of this activity 

became even more feverish. On January 11, 1923, French and Belgian 

troops occupied the Ruhr region, the heartland of German industry. 

French dissatisfaction over the reparations question had increased 

steadily during the preceding year. Now the Poincare government hoped 

to force the issue to a successful conclusion. The French action 

released a storm of nationalist and anti-French feeling in Germany. 

The German government responded to the French step with a call for 

passive resistance; the public would settle for nothing less, and 

many radical leaders of both the left and right — the Communists 

chose to exploit national feeling on this Issue as a means of winning 

support for their cause — demanded an even stronger response. On 

the eve of tlie Ruhr invasion. Minister President Knilling presented 

his own views upon the impact of the French action in Bavaria. If the 



137 



Reich government yielded to French pressure, he could no longer hold 
the radical right in check in Bavaria. Rumors of a National Socialist 
putsch already dominated political conversation in Munich. Knilling 
himself regarded the rumors as exaggerated, hut the situation would 
change if the national government did not stand firm against the 
French. 

The Ruhr crisis carried the prevailing political and social 
unrest to new heights. Its economic consequences destroyed the last 
semblance of fiscal stability in Germany. In 1922 a thick wallet 
full of Marks was required to buy a loaf of bread or a glass of 

beer; in the months following the Ruhr occupation, a wheelbarrow load 

41 
of currency would become necessary for the same purpose. The radical 

right was convinced that its hour had struck. Political observers 

in Bavaria noted a dramatic increase in support for Hitler and his 

party. Everywhere there was talk of Mussolini's successful march 

on Rome the previous October or of Kemal Ataturk's "Ankara solution." 

Everywhere Bavarian right-wing leaders measured themselves for the 

vestments of a German Mussolini or Ataturk. The idea of a march on 

Berlin from Munich, implicit from the very beginning in the activities 



^Instead of attempting to seize power in the traditional Turkish capi- 
tal, Constantinople, Ataturk and his followers had established them- 
selves in the provincial city of Ankara, and then worked outward to 
extend the revolution across Turkey. The parallels between "decadent" 
Constantinople and "decadent" Berlin, and the idea of using the "cell of 
order" centered upon Munich as the basis of a national revolution, 
proved seductive to many German rightists. 



138 



of the Patriotic Associations, gained increasing popular support with 
every passing day. Outside of Bavaria, the ratlical left showed an 
increase in strengtli. In the Ruhr the Communists initiated a guerrlla 
campaign aimed simultaneously at the French and at the "bourgeois" 
Reich government; in Saxony and Thuringia moderate socialist governments 
came under increasing pressure from the Communists. At the end of 
January the moderate Social Democratic regime in Saxony fell, to be 
replaced some months later by a more decidedly radical administration, 

one which would provide sanctuary for a revolutionary Communist 

43 
buildup. In every part of Germany the political situation 

deteriorated as both extreme elements won increasing support. 

To underscore his party's growing political strength, Adolf Hitler 

announced its first Reichsparteitag , or "national party rally," for 

January 27 through January 29 in Munich. The level of preparation 

suggested to the Knilling government that Hitler was in fact planning 

something more than a rally. On January 24 the Knilling cabinet 

resolved to ban all outdoor marches and demonstrations proposed by 

the National Socialists for the following weekend, a measure which 

44 
would, in effect, ban the rally itself. PDM VId received the cor- 
responding orders from the Ministry of the Interior and informed the 
NSDAP headquarters in Munich of the decision the next day. That same 
evening two representatives of the party appeared at the PDM to protest 
this decision. They were shown into the office of Police President 
Nortz and allowed to make their case. It was no longer possible, they 



139 



said to Nortz, for the party to comply with the ban. The rally 
participants from outside Munich were already on their way to the 
city. Once tliey arrived, there was no way Jn which they couJd he 
moved from the railway station to the quarters being prepared for 
them except in closed columns. To forbid marches from the station 
would result in the worst kind of disorder. Further, the main 
ceremony of the rally, a dedication of flags, could only take place 
outdoors, since many members of the other Patriotic Associations 
would want to take part; no building in Munich was large enough to 
hold the expected crowd. Nortz expressed understanding for their 
problems, and suggested that they go to the Ministry of the Interior 
and make the same case. Nortz then picked up the phone and called 
Ministerialrat Josef Zetlmeier, the ministry official directly 
responsible for police matters, and asked him to wait at his office 
for the delegation from the NSDAP. 

Just as Nortz was replacing the receiver, Adolf Hitler hurried 
into Nortz 's office. Hitler was obviously upset. He complained 
bitterly about the decision to ban outdoor demonstrations. His party 
was completely patriotic in its aims, said Hitler, but the Bavarian 
government persisted in torturing it with these pinpricks 
( Nadelstichen ) . Now the government had gone too far. As Hitler 
spoke he became more and more aroused. Nortz tried to calm him by 
repeating his suggestion that the party's complaints be laid before 
the responsible officials at the Ministry of the Interior. To this 



140 



Hitler responded sliarply. No, he would not go to the Ministry of the 
Interior. Instetid he would do nothing at all, and allow events to 
take their course. He had tried to hold his forces in check, parti- 
cularly the Storm Troopers, but he would try no longer. He would stage 
his flag dedication and the police could do whatever they liked. 
If it came to shooting, then well and good — within two hours of the 
first shot the government would be finished. And the Red flood was 
coming. The government might soon stand in need of the Nazi party's 
help, but, if it did nothing to help him now, then it could expect 
nothing from him later. Again Nortz tried to pour oil upon the 
waters, and again he failed. Hitler curtly broke off the conversation 
and departed. 

Faced with the threat of force, Nortz asked the cabinet to 

declare a state of emergency. After two lengthy meetings the next 

47 
day, the cabinet agreed. In the meantime Hitler, with the assistance 

of Ernst Rohm, sought out the aid of the local military authorities. 

Ritter von Epp secured for Hitler and Rohm an audience with General von 

Lossow, the new commander of the Bavarian Reichswehr . Hitler promised 

that, if the government would allow him to hold his rally without 

hindrance, he would promise that no disturbances would take place. 

To emphasize this, he gave Lossow his word of honor that no putsch 

was planned. Next, Hitler and Rcilim went to Kalir and secured his 

promise to help. Lossow and Kahr both intervened in Hitler's favor 

with Minister President Knilling. 



141 



T.ater that afternoon Hitler made a return visit to Nortz. Rohm, 
still an active army officer, came along to lend his support. This 
time Hitler had himself under control. He repeated once again lifs 
promise that the party rally would produce no d isturhances , lie 
advanced the same practical arguments presented by the party representa- 
tives the day before. Using all of his considerable persuasive skills. 
Hitler managed to efface the bad impression he had made the day before 
and convinced Nortz that he could be trusted to keep his word and 
behave. Nortz concluded that an accommodation with Hitler might 
now be wise. Accordingly, he approached Interior Minister Schweyer 

and requested greater freedom of action in enforcing the provisions 

49 
of the ban. 

At this juncture both Hitler and Nortz viewed their freedom 

of action as limited. Having staked his own and the party's reputation 

on a great rally. Hitler was compelled to deliver — to allow otherwise 

would mean a substantial blow to his position within the patriotic 

movement. Nortz, for his own part, had begun to doubt his ability 

to enforce the ban if Hitler chose a defiant course. The appearance 

of Rohm with Hitler, coupled with Hitler's earlier discussion with 

General von Lossow, gave Nortz the impression that the army would 

stand aside if the confrontation between the police and the Nazis 

should turn violent. Moreover, he was uncertain of the reliability 

of his own police force in such an event; disturbing rumors had reached 

him about the attitude of the lower ranks toward the Nazis. 



142 



Nortz's own attitude, Indeed, was ambivalent. He respected the 
"sound nationalist core" of the National Socialist movement — a 
phrase which recurred again and again in the statements of government 
leaders — but feared that it was becoming a danger to public order. 
In the preceding weeks the Nazis had frequently been the cause of 
serious disturbances in the city. Worse, he feared that the movement 
Intended to exploit the current conditions to "go over the head of the 
government" — Nortz, too, had heard the rumors of a march on Berlin. 
Nortz had no fear of the Nazi party itself, but worried that it 
was being dominated by a politically immature element, an element 
given to unruliness and precipitate measures. He thought that the 
government should act decisively against this element, while at the 
same time giving reassurances that it respected the Nazi movement 
as a whole. Only through such a step could the government ensure 
its place "at the head of the entire nationalist movement." A failure 
to do this would encourage a continued rivalry between the Nazis and 
the government, which could only end in an open struggle for power. 

Nortz spoke with the voice of a prophet. Unfortunately, his own 
next step showed just how such prophesies could become self-fulfilling. 
Using the freedom granted him by Schweyer, he approved six of the 
twelve proposed Nazi gatherings and the great dedication of flags on 
the March Field. The approval came with a variety of small restric- 
tions — once again, the "pinpricks" about which Hitler had com- 
plained — but essentially granted the party most of what it wanted. 



143 



At the same time Nortz used his powers to ban a Social Democratic 
counter-demonstration planned for the same weekend. Nortz justified 
this last measure in terms of the threat of violence should opposing 
demonstrators come together in the streets and because the enforcement 
of restrictions against the right required a similar enforcement 
against the left — although the difference between a total ban on 
the left and a partial ban on the right suggested a somewhat singular 
definition of the term "similar." The Social Democrats would not 

be allowed to demonstrate until the Nazi rally was over and its 

52 
participants had returned to their homes. 

Nortz's attempt to restrict the disorderly element in National 

Socialism while reassuring its "sound nationalist core" met with 

little success. The party rally ran its course without significant 

incidents, but the entire affair had been an embarrassment to the 

government. The initial ban had angered not only the Nazis, but 

the entire right-wing movement. Nortz's subsequent relaxation of the 

ban made the government appear weak and aroused contempt, without 

relieving the anger of the radical right. The Social Democrats saw 

themselves as having been discriminated against and took the ban of 

their own demonstration as yet another sign that the authorities were 

maintaining a double standard. The search began for a scapegoat. 

Although there was blame enough to go around — the cabinet itself 

had offered little clear guidance and Lossow and Kahr had also made 

their unfortunate contributions — the name of Nortz was linked with 

' 53 
most of the criticism. 



144 



In February the most militant Patriotic Associations united in 
the "Working Coalition of Patriotic Battle Associations" 
( ArbeitsgemeinschaFt der vaterlandlschen Kampfverbande ) . The driving 
force behind this coalition, Ernst Rohm, wanted to provide the radical 
right with a powerful and united military force in anticipation of 
crises to come; Rohm had not forgotten the opportunity lost in August 
1922, because of Pittinger's unpreparedness . Formal military leadership 
was entrusted to Hermann Kriebel, formerly the military head of the 
Civic Guard. Christian Roth assumed the post of senior political 
leader. Not all the Patriotic Associations joined the "Working 
Coalition." A number of smaller and more traditionally conservative 
groups clustered around Kahr. Now the radical right was split into 
rival factions, each dedicated to the overthrow of the republic, but 
divided as to the means through which this was to be achieved and to 
the form that a successor regime should take. Each faction would now 
compete with the other for the leadership of the entire right-wing 

movement, in a rivalry which would force the pace of political 

, , 54 

developments in the months to come. 

The Ruhr crisis worsened. Violence by German underground groups 
prompted increasingly repressive responses by the French. The French 
occupation authorities encouraged separatist movements in the 
Rhlneland, including the Bavarian Rhine Palatinate. French agents 
also stepped up their activities in the other parts of Bavaria. The 
threat from the leftist-dominated states of Saxony and Thuringia 



145 



mounted, a threat wliich affected In particular the northeastern 
provinces of IJavaria. Tlie radical right within Baravla hccame ever 
more obstreperous. 

To meet these varied threats, the Ministry of the Interior 
ordered yet a further extension of the powers of the political police. 
A Ministry of Justice decree on November 3, 1922, had made the Public 
Prosecutor for the Main State Court in Munich ( Landesgerichte Miinchen 
_I) responsible for all treason and espionage cases occurring in 
Bavaria, insofar as these did not fall within the jurisdiction of the 
Reich courts in Leipzig. For the investigation of such crimes the 
Ministry of Justice requested that the Ministry of the Interior 
expand the role of the counterespionage desk of the PDM, desk VIb, 
beyond the terms established in 1904. The Ministry of the Interior 
met this request on March 16, 1923, by giving PDM VIb responsibility 
for Investigating and combatting all threats to the internal and 
external security of the state, including treason, espionage, and, 
a significant addition to the original 1904 decree, political subver- 
sion. In the context of the times this brought many of the activities 
of the radical political movements, particularly the KPD and the NSDAP, 



*This desk was normally designated the Zentralstelle , or "central 
office," during the early 1920's. Later it was referred to by the 
actual desk designation, PDM VIb, or an abbreviated combination of the 
two, i.e. PDM VIb Z.St. Since there were several "central offices" at 
the PDM during this period, including two within PDM VI — VIb and the 
political Intelligence service central office at VI/N — the abbreviation 
PDM VIb will be used throughout to avoid confusion. 



146 



squarely within the province of the counterespionage police. To 
assist in this task, a special political intelligence service was 
erected alongside tlic more general political intelligence service 
created the previous October. This service would work directly with 
the Public Prosecutor's office in the actual criminal prosecution of 
treason, espionage, and subversion cases. Taking information developed 
by the larger political intelligence service under PDM VI/N, the 
special service within VIb would combine this information with its 
own investigations to prepare cases for indictment by the Public 
Prosecutor. 

Had the decree halted at this point, it would already have 
represented a substantial extension of PDM VIb's activities, for, 
while the counterespionage police had always worked for the Public 
Prosecutor, they had never before had a formal brief to intervene in 
cases. But the decree went further. Local police authorities were 
required to inform PDM VIb whenever a case of subversion or espionage 
was uncovered in their jurisdictions. The Munich counterespionage 
could then, if it so chose, intervene directly without additional 
authorization. All communications concerning such cases between the 
local authorities and police or military agencies outside Bavaria 
were to be passed through desk VIb, except in instances of extreme 
urgency. Since final responsibility for the prosecution of these 
cases rested with PDM VIb, it was empowered to operate throughout the 

entire state and to maintain its own agents in any jurisdiction, 

56 
independent of the local police. 



147 



Coupled with the earlier decree of October 2k, \^11, creating the 
political intelligence service, this new measure made PDM VI the central 
political police agency for the entire state. As of the spring of 
1923, the state not only had a central network for the surveillance 
of political activity, but also an executive body whose radius of 
action was limited only by the boundaries of the state itself. These 
measures gave the Bavarian government powerful instruments for the 
control and domination of political radicalism. These steps alone 
could not be considered an adequate response to the extremist threat. 
So long as the government's own position remained ambivalent, the new 
tools could not be used effectively. More fundamentally, if the 
political attitudes of the officers who made up the new political 
police networks were at variance with the position of the government, 
the system might actually work against the government's interests. 
The government could rely upon the political police to move effectively 
against the radical left. The government's own policies in this 
respect were clear and completely consonant with the prevalent attitudes 
within the political police. So effective, indeed, had been the 
political police response to the threat from the Communists, that the 
KPD left Bavaria entirely out of its preparations for the coming 
"German October Revolution." The muddle which had surrounded the 
recent Nazi party rally, however, showed that neither the government 
nor the police was certain of its course vis-a-vis the radical right. 

This became even more clear at the end of April. On April 17 the 
Social Democratic trade union organization requested permission to hold 



148 



a large-scale May Day demonstration. The step came as something 
of a surprise to the police, since, although May Day was the traditional 
socialist holiday, no such festivities had been staged in Munich in 
the years following 1919. May 1, 1919, of course, had since become 
an anniversary of another sort in Bavaria — the anniversary of the 
entry of White forces into Munich, a date few socialists, moderate 
or radical, would gladly recall. News of the government's approval 
of the socialist celebration aroused the Patriotic Associations to 
new heights of fury. In Neuhausen, a working class neighborhood of 
Munich, a shootout between National Socialists and Communists on 
April 26 left four wounded. Work that the newly-created Socialist 
self-defense organization, a leftist answer to the Patriotic Associa- 
tions, would have a prominent role in the May Day parade gave rise to 
rumors that a leftist putsch was being planned. The Communist announce- 
ment that they, too, would participate in the May Day demonstrations 
added further fuel to the flames. On April 27 the government issued 
an order banning the main May Day parade planned by the left and 
requiring them to substitute for this seven separate, smaller 

CO 

parades. This step, however, was not enough to satisfy the leaders 
of the Working Coalition of Patriotic Associations, who now proposed 
their own counterdemonstratlon. Preparations for the counter- 
demonstration soon took on the dimensions of a military campaign, as 

59 
the radical right resolved to attack the leftist parades. 

Despite the threats from the right, the government resolved to 

allow the planned May Day activities authorized on April 27. Kriebel 



149 



approached Nortz on April 30 and threateningly predicted bloodshed, 
Nortz responded tliat, Jf it came to such a pass, the police would Fire 
on both the left and the right. Earlier that day the local leaders 
of the less radical Patriotic Associations had visited Nortz and 
requested that he call up the "Emergency Police" ( Notpolizei ) . The 
"Emergency" Police was an organization based upon the Patriotic 
Associations, in effect a device through which the Patriotic Associa- 
tions could be called into state service as a police auxiliary. It 
represented an extension of the Civic Guard idea and, given the 
relationship between the old Civic Guard and the Patriotic Associa- 
tions, could be regarded as an official successor to the Civic Guard. 
While potentially useful to the government in the event of a leftist 
uprising, its attitude in the event of a conflict between the govern- 
ment and the right was uncertain — some Patriotic Associations might 
support the government, and some might stand to one side, but the 
majority would be against the government. At first Nortz refused to 
call up the "Emergency Police," but, as the day wore on, he began to 
have second thoughts. After several conversations with various key 
figures in the patriotic camp, he decided on his own initiative to 
authorize the unarmed assembly of the "Emergency Police" for five 
o'clock the following morning. He Justified this decision with the 
remark that, ". . . .it seemed advisable .... in order that the 

leadership in this matter not slip completely out of the hands of the 

..60 
government. 



150 



But this decision belied Nortz's earlier resolve to shoot both 
"left and right." During the course of his second meeting with 
Patriotic Association leaders, one of tliem had asked if the "I'.mergoncy 
Police" would be permitted to go to the aid of the Nazis in the event 
of violence between the Nazis and the Conununists. Nortz refused to 
grant such a blank check, insisting that the assembled "Emergency 
Police" take no action of any sort without the express orders of the 
PDM, But the question itself suggested the attitude of the Patriotic 
Association leaders. Although unintentionally, by authorizing the callup 
of the "Emergency Police," Nortz had given official sanction to the 
assembly of the radical right's counterforce. Schweyer, more 
perceptive in these matters, issued orders cancelling the callup as 
soon as it came to his attention. But by then it was too late. The 
muddle generated by Nortz's original order further confused an already 
confusing situation and undermined the government's efforts to maintain 
a neutral posture. 

The government, nonetheless, remained the master of the situation. 
Officers of the PDM and the LaPo successfully kept the left-wing and 
right-wing demonstrators apart. Although the Patriotic Associations 
gathered on the Oberwiesenf eld received arms through Rohm's assistance, 
these arms were not used. Granting that neither the left nor the 
right had forced the issue, the government's firmness had nonetheless 
contributed to a peaceful conclusion to the crisis. Moreover, the 
police had performed well. During the night of April 30, LaPo and 



151 



Schutzpolizel units had patrolled the streets, with PDM VI guiding 

their movements according to the inflow of Intell ij'.ence about the 

63 
situation in the city. Teams of detectives from PDM Via investigated 

reports from various parts of the city concerning the distribution of 

64 
weapons. The performance of the police could, undoubtedly, have 

been better; too much time and energy was dissipated chasing will-o'- 

65 
the-wisps. Still, the government had reason for reassurance. 

Nortz's actions with respect to the "Emergency Police" had been 

the last straw for Schweyer. The Police President's handling of the 

Nazi party rally in January had raised serious questions about his 

suitability for the post. In February yet another incident had 

undermined Schweyer 's confidence in Nortz, an incident still very 

much on the minds of the Knilling cabinet. This was the Fuchs- 

Machhaus affair, a conspiracy, supported by French secret funds, to 

overthrow the Bavarian government, establish a right-wing dictatorship 

in Munich, and withdraw Baravia from the Reich . The trial of the 

conspirators, which took place in June and early July 1923, lifted 

one corner of the veil which covered an especially murky chapter in 

Bavarian political history. 

As part of its overall strategy aimed at reducing Germany's 

future warmaking potential, the French government had encouraged 

a variety of German separatist movements. Most of this activity was 

concentrated in the occupied Rhineland, where French military and 

civil authorities could exert a powerful influence, but, from the very 



152 



beginning, the French also gave attention to Bavarian separatist 
impulses. In 1919 and 1920 the French government entered into an 
agreement with the influential Georg Helm to support a movement which 
would declare Bavaria's independence from the Reich , pave the way 
for a Wittelsbach restoration, and, in conjunction with other measures 
in neighboring Austria, lead ultimately to the establishment of an 
independent Danubian confederation. This conspiracy broke down when 
the French representatives realized that Helm's plans were not really 
separatist at all, but instead envisaged only a temporary break with 
socialist Prussia as a prelude to the revival of the pre-Bismarckian 
Greater Germany — that is, with German Austria included — under the 
leadership of the Bavarian royal house. This variation on the emerging 

"cell of order" theme did not at all coincide with French policy 

, 66 
needs. 

The Civic Guard crisis and the Ruhr occupation further lessened 

the desires of the Bavarian right to work with the French. After 

1920, no major figure dared venture such a step, at least not without 

some form of protective coloration. In the winter of 1922-1923, 

however, two lesser figures of the radical right, the author Georg Fuchs 

and a former editor of the Nazi Volkischer Beobachter , Hugo Machhaus, 

attempted with the help of a French agent, Franz Richert, to organize 

a putsch which would separate Bavaria from the "Jewish-Socialist" 

north and prepare the way for a nationalist , dictatorship. The plan 

was thus a direct expression of the "Ankara solution" which fascinated 



153 



the radical right. The French connection, however, made the decisive 
leaders of the radical right wary of any direct invoJvement in tlie 
.scheme of Fiichs and Marlihaus. Crown Prince Rupprecht likewise rejected 
their direct approaches. 

The conspiracy finally came to the surface in late February 
1923. Karl Mayr, a former Bavarian staff officer and one of the men 
who had helped launch Hitler's political career in 1919, had worked 
his way into the plot, ostensibly as a military advisor. Although 
Mayr had long been enmeshed in a variety of right-wing machinations, 
at the beginning of 1923 he had already taken the first steps which 
would bring him to the leadership of the socialist-republican para- 
military organization, the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold . The Fuchs- 
Machhaus affair was one of the first major stations along Mayr's 
journey from the political right to the left. Through intermediaries, 
Mayr saw that the entire conspiracy was laid before Interior Minister 
Schweyer. Schweyer reacted cautiously, sensing himself on the verge 
of a political minefield. The involvement of a French agent in the 
affair necessitated some sort of action; to allow the man to escape 
would raise anew the old rumors of official Bavarian involvement with 
the French if the matter became public. The conspiracy also appeared 
to involve various important Bavarian political figures and could be 
embarrassing to the government. Schweyer drew Nortz into the matter, 
only to discover that Nortz himself was little prepared to deal with 
it and evidently was not possessed of any worthwhile evidence on the 



154 



conspiracy. Given that Nortz stood at the head of the entire political 

police system in tlic state as Police I'rcsidcnt, this did little to 

enhance Nortz 's appearance in Schweyer's eyes, particularly as it 

rapidly became clear that the conspirators had done little to protect 
their secret. The political police should have known about the matter 
and kept Schweyer informed. 

Schweyer had already had reason to complain of the performance 

of the political police in connection to the similar Leoprechting 

69 
case the summer before. Now, despite the warning issued by him 

at that time, he had been caught off guard once again. Quite likely, 

the political police had indeed known about the Fuchs-Machhaus 

conspiracy. Fuchs ' s original contacts with the French agent Richert 

had taken place on behalf of Kahr and Pohner in 1921. Fuchs had moved 

in the same right-wing circles as Pohner and had carried out a variety 

of political missions for Pohner during the latter's tenure as Police 

President. From this period Fuchs also had close contacts with Frick, 

contacts which continued through the period of the conspiracy itself. 

Fuchs himself claimed similarly good connections with Frick' s 

successor, Bernreuther, and credited Bernreuther with protecting the 

conspirators from earlier betrayals. Mayr's decision to approach 

Schweyer directly with his revelations concerning Fuchs, Machhaus, 

and their co-conspirators reflected his awareness that an approach to 

the police was fruitless. 

With obvious reluctance and great caution the government allowed 

Fuchs and three other conspirators to come to trial; two further 



155 



conspirators, including Hugo Machhaus, had committed suicide before 
the trial could Ijcgin. The lesser figures were acquitted, liuL I'uclis 
was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment, despite Frlck's protestation 
that Fuclis was really a patriotic German and liad acted out of the 
best motives. The other main conspirator, the French agent Richert, 
had escaped late in February, while Schweyer and Nortz were trying 
to decide how to proceed with the case. This further burdened the 
relations between the two men. The trial itself ran its course 
without implicating Pohner or any other major figure in the actual 
conspiracy, largely because the prosecution took great pains to limit 
the scope of the proceedings. 

Coming after the mishandling of the Nazi party rally in January 
and the lack of control over the political police demonstrated in the 
Fuchs-Machhaus affair, Nortz 's actions during the events surrounding 
the May 1 episode destroyed whatever confidence Schweyer retained 
in Nortz. On May 11 Nortz was transferred to another civil service 
position and replaced by Karl Mantel. The government hoped that 
Mantel would offer the strength and resolution that Nortz had lacked, 
qualities which would be needed both in dealing with the general 

demands of the office and in making the police force itself more 

72 
responsive to the government's policies. 

The summer passed without further major incidents. The political 

police, nonetheless, remained extremely busy, so much so that in July 

It became necessary to turn routine political cases over to the regular 



156 



73 
police for investigation because of the heavy workload. With the 

beginning of SepteiiibiT , liowi'vcr, the pace of events cpilekened once 

again. The " Deutsclie Tag " in Nuremberg on September 1 and 2, an 

immense nationalist rally which brought together right-wing groups from 

all over Germany, became the occasion for a further consolidation 

of the most radical Bavarian Patriotic Associations as the Deutsche 

Kampfbund , or "German Fighting League." Hitler was the political 

leader of this grouping; Kriebel, once again, the military leader. 

The Kampfbund represented the most extreme segment of the Bavarian 

radical right. As such, it was fully prepared to attack the Bavarian 

government should the latter try to stand between it and its reckoning 

with the "Judeo-Marxist" republic. The Knilling government, for its 

part, acknowledged the Kampfbun d as an eraeny; while it did not see 

itself in the role of the republic's defender, it would not allow the 

Kampfbund to go over its head. More than ever before, the government 

authorities distinguished between the Kampfbund radicals and the less 

extreme elements of the radical right. Hitler, in Schweyer's view, 

had fallen completely under the influence of the former "Communist" 

Hermann Esser. Although Knilling still hoped to exploit the growing 

divisions within the radical right and draw the more moderate elements 

74 
behind the government, Schweyer was skeptical of such a course. The 



*For a brief period in 1919 Hermann Esser had supported the Sl'D. He was 
never a Communist. Early in 1920 he joined the Nazi party. See Benz, 
Polltlk in Bayern , p. 127n. 



157 



KnillJnj.^ approach, howover, prevailed. As before, the government and 
tlie piirtJes of the governin^^ coalition, the 15V1' and DNVI', could not 
afford to draw a clear line between themselves and the entire radical 
right, for fear of losing popular support. Whatever its flaws, the 
attempt to isolate the forces behind Hitler and to win the support of 
the remaining radical groups was the only workable policy open to the 
government in the fall of 1923. 

The collapse of the national government headed by Wilhelm Cuno 
and the formation of a new cabinet under Gustav Stresemann in August 
led to the final renunciation of the policy of passive resistance to 
the French occupation of the Ruhr. The new government in Berlin, a 
grand coalition including the Social Democrats, saw nothing left but 
a negotiated end to the crisis. The Mark had become almost literally 
worthless, and Germany stood on the threshhold of complete political 
and economic chaos. On September 26 the Stresemann government made 
the end of passive resistance official. 

Now the full fury of a defeated, frustrated, and angry nation 
exploded against the republic. The leftist regimes in Saxony and 
Thuringia scarcely recognized the authority of Berlin. In Bavaria 
Gustav von Kahr returned to power in the newly-created post of General 
State Commissar. ALthougli nominally the agent of the Knilllng govern- 
ment, Kahr's wide-ranging emergency powers made him a virtual dictator 
within the state. The "strong man" so long demanded by the Patriotic 
Associations had finally come. In the weeks which followed Bavarian 



158 



politics becnme a rlvtilry between Hitler and Kahr for the IcadersliLp 
of the radical right, with the KnLlllng cabinet progressively reduced 
to a spectator's role. Kahr proceeded vigorously against the left. 
Acting upon the recommendation of PDM VI, he dissolved the Social 
Democratic paramilitary organization. He challenged Berlin. When 
the Social Democratic Defense Minister attempted to replace General von 
Lossow as head of the Bavarian Reichswehr Kahr refused to accept the 
nominated successor and, in effect, defined the authority of the 
Berlin government in Bavaria. At the same time Kahr developed his 
own plans for a march on Berlin. The Kampfbund , under Hitler, pushed 
forward its own parallel plans. 

These simultaneous and sometimes overlapping efforts came to a 
climax on the evening of November 8. Hoping to steal a march — almost 
literally, given the ultimate object of the exercise — on Kahr, 

Hitler and his forces announced the overthrow of the existing govern- 

78 
ment and the beginning of the "national renewal." 

Having seized the initiative, Hitler pressed Kahr and his two 

main allies. General von Lossow and Colonel von Seisser of the LaPo, 

to join in the revolution. At least partially under duress — the 

point was much debated later — Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser gave their 

agreement. As soon as possible, however, the trio turned against 

Hitler and began organizing their forces against him. By the dawn 

of November 9 the initiative had passed from Hitler's hands. His 

attempt to retrieve the situation with a march through Munich ended in 

79 
the bloody fiasco before the Feldherrnhalle. 



39 



The role of the political police in the events of November 8 and 
9 was ignominious, PDM VI had failed to provide either Kahr or the 
Knilling cabinet with any advance warning of Hitler's plans. To 
compound this embarrassment, leading members of the government and of 
the PDM itself, including both Mantel and Bernreuther, were surprised 
with Kahr at the Burgerbraukeller on the evening of November 8 and 
taken into custody by the National Socialists. This cleared the way 
for Pohner and Frick, who had allied themselves with Hitler, to go to 
police headquarters and assert command. The officers present, ac- 
customed to the leadership of these two men and with little reason 
to doubt that they were in fact acting under Kahr's orders, placed 
themselves under Frick' s command. Not until the early morning hours 
of November 9 would the confusion clear and the PDM again become 
responsive to the duly-constituted authorities. The political police 

were not a factor in the suppression of the putsch later in the day; 

80 
that task was fulfilled by the LaPo. 

The major failure, however, was the failure to anticipate the 

putsch. Such warningwas one of the main justifications for the 

existence of the political police, and all of the organizational 

monsuros undertaken during the preceding year had boon monnt to 

enliance tlie politic.iJ police force's ability to carry out thLs 

mission. Tlie fallui^o rovoalod on tlio ovo.nliig of Novomiior H Iiad many 

causes. For months PDM VI had been besieged with putsch rumors, which 

had proven false. With every such false alarm, the tendency to 



160 



discount the actual putsch threat grew. Kahr's policies with regard 
to the radical right also complicated the political police task. It 
was widely known that Kahr was in close contact with the radical right 
leaders and that Kahr himself was planning some sort of dramatic 
step. Yet as General State Commissar Kahr possessed the final police 
authority in the state. The political police could hardly take active 
steps to prevent a putsch when its author might prove to be their 
superior. In the confused political atmosphere of the time it was 
difficult to distinguish between Kahr's machinations and those of his 
rivals. Finally, Hitler himself did not decide definitely to act 
until November 6 and kept this decision secret from all save his most 
intimate associates. Even the highly-placed and usually well-informed 

police agents within the Nazi movement could have had little chance 

f • .u- • ^ ... 81 

or securing this information m time. 

This said, one aspect of the political police failure on 

November 8 still could not be explained away. Many members of the 

regular police and the political police were National Socialist 

sympathizers; some were even party members. Their actions during the 

course of the Beer Hall Putsch ranged from active support of Hitler 

to the assumption of a passive bystander's position. In either case, 

this represented a significant dereliction of duty. The role of 

Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser was once again suspect; although Glaser could 

not be proved an active participant in the putsch, his presence 

outside the R urgerbraukeller as a passive observer suggested an 



161 



8? 
indifference to his responsibilities toward the state. Bernreuther, 

too, had acted c|ucstic)nably In not following up a report some weeks 
earlier concerning Prick's possible involvement in putsch pre- 
parations. 

The basic problem was simple. Under Pohner and Frick the PDM had 
been shaped as an instrument of right-wing political policy. Suc- 
cessive changes in the PDM leadership had not produced corresponding 
changes in the attitudes of its subordinate officers. Only a 
thoroughgoing purge could eradicate the influence of Pohner and 
Frick, but as Police President Mantel himself realized, such a purge 
was impossible. The most that could be done was to fire that handful 
of officers who could be proven to have actively participated in the 
putsch. 

A year of effort to make the political police an effective 
instrument of state police had ended in disappointment. The organi- 
zational measures introduced in the course of the year had enhanced 
PDM VI 's position within the overall system of state authority and 
had contributed to the state's continued success in controlling 
leftist activities in Bavaria. But in the conflict with the radical 
right these measures proved of little value. In this conflict the 
political policemen were invited to stand with the government or, as 
it proved, to stand wltli their former master, Pohner. Such a choice 
was more than most officers could make. 



162 



Notes 

Benz, Polltlk in Bayern , p, 86. 

2 
Dlchl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimnr Germany , pp. 100-109, 

121-124; Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , pp. 143-171. 

3 
For the shifting attitude of these parties toward Lerchenfeld, 

see Benz, Politlk in Bayern , pp. 86-110 and Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch , 

pp. 41-47. 

4 
Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , pp. 177-179. 

For the unwillingness of the BVP to back Schweyer's approach, 
see Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch , p. 47; for the attempt to renew the 
coalition with the PNVP and the motives behind this attempt, see 
Benz, Politik in Bayern , p. 93. 

Helmut Heiber, Die Republik von Weimar (Munich, 1966), pp. 97- 
99. 

Hans Hubert Hofmann, Per Hitlerputsch: Krisenjahre deutscher 
Geschichte, 1920-1924 (Munich, 1961), p. 311. 

PDM to M Inn, Sept. 26, 1922, M Inn 71996. 

9 
For the March uprising, see Werner T. Angress, Stillborn 

Revolution: The Communist Bid for Power in Germany, 1921-1923 

(Princeton, 1963), pp. 137-166. 

Diehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany , pp. 133-136. 

Jasper, Der Schutz der Republik , pp. 56-57, 106-108. 

Ibid . 

13 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 94-95. 

14 

Jasper, Der Schutz der Republik , pp. 56-59, 74-76. 



163 



^'^Thld, p. 59, 

The l)asic documents for the background to tlie creation of the 
Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz are collected in BAK R43I/2689. My 
conclusions on this issue are based upon this collection. Jasper, 
Per Schutz der Republik , pp. 74-76, 97-98, reaches conclusions which 
agree with my own, working from a different set of documents, the 
reports of Wurttemberg's representative in the Reichsrat . Lerchenf eld's 
attitude and his comment on the federal police force were reported by 
Moser von Filseck. See Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 99-100. 

-1 Q 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 102-103. 

"^^Ibid, pp. 102-104. 

20 

Jasper, Der Schutz der Republik , pp. 92-105. 

21 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 105-107. 

22 

Jasper, Der Schutz der Republik , pp. 93-94. 

^■^Ibid, pp. 95-96. 

24 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 106-108. 

25 

The post-1922 controversies surrounding the implementation of 

the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz and the law's ultimate reduction to a 

dead letter may be traced in the latter half of the collection 

BAK R43I/2689. See also the Bavarian collection MA 100 447. 

7 f\ 

Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , pp. 177-185. 
See also Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 107-108. 

2^bid. 

28 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , p. 108. 

29 

M Tnn decree, Oct. 24, 1922, M Inn 71879. 



164 



^«Ibid. 

^'ibicl. 

32 

The campaign agalnsC Lerchenfeld is reported in a variety of 

sources. See Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp, 108, llOn. Benz does not 

name the leading BVP participants, but describes them as "massgebliche 

Manner der BVP." See also Hofmann, Per Hitlerputsch , p. 59; Schwend, 

Bayern zwischen Monarchie und Diktatur , p. 197; Deuerlein, Der 

Hitlerputsch , p. 47. 

33 

Deuerlein, Der Hitlerputsch , p. 47. 

^^Ibid, pp. 40-51. 

35 

"Protokoll uber die am 24. Nov. 1922 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau 

des Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228. 
Ibid. 
^^Ibid. 

3«lbid. 

39 

This conclusion is based upon a reading of the reports of the 

Provincial Presidium of Upper Bavaria for the period 1921-1932. These 

reports are contained in MA 102 136, MA 102 137, and MA 102 138. 

These may be compared with the political situation reports of the PDM 

for the period after the decree went into effect. For the period 

1924-1932, when the political intelligence service's reporting 

patterns were well established, see MA 101 235/1-3. 

40 

Walter A. McDougall, France's Rhineland Diplomacy, 1914-1924 

(Princeton, 1978), pp. 233-251. For Knilling's views, see Benz, 

Politik in Bayern , pp. 119-120. 

41 

The progression of the inflation rate is illustrated by the 

increases in price for the most influential Munich newspaper, the 

"Munchener Neueste Nachrichten," for the year 1923. On January 2 the 

paper cost 40 Marks — an already substantial sum. On July 2 it cost 

800 Marks, on September 2, 150,000 Marks, on October 1, 25,000,000 

Marks, and on November 8, 8,000,000,000 Marks. The figures are from 

Helnrich Bennecke, Hitl er und d ie SA (Munich, 1962), pp. 70, 76. 



165 



42 

DeuerleJn, Per Hitlerputsch , p. 50. 

A3 

Angress, StlUho rn Revolution , pp. 380-'387. 

44 

M Inn to PDM, Jan. 24, 1923, HA 20/385. 

45 

Statement of Richard Dingeldey to Public Prosecutor Dresse, 

Jan. 29, 1923, HA 20/385. Dingeldey was one of the Nazi party 

representatives at the meeting with Nortz. 

^Sbid. 

47 

Statement of Eduard Nortz to Public Prosecutor Dresse, 

Jan. 30, 1923, HA 20/385. 

^«Ibid. 

49 

Ibid. 

Ibid. See also Werner Maser, Die Friihgeschichte der NSDAP: 
Hitlers Weg bis 1924 (Frankfurt, 1965), pp. 374-377. 

Ibid. 

Ibxd. 

53 

Benz, Politlk in Bayern , pp. 120-121. 

54 

Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , pp. 188-190; 

Diehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany , pp. 125-130. 

M Inn decree, March 16, 1923, Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 
11/228. 

Ibid. 

Angress, Stillborn Revolution , pp. 418-419. The effectiveness 
of the political police, of course, did not account solely for this KPD 
decision, which also reflected the basic weakness of the party 
organization in Bavaria and a recognition of the strength of the 
Patriotic Associations. 



166 



CO 

PDM to M Inn, May 3, 1923, cited in Deuerlein, Per Hitlerput-sch , 

pp. yn-yi"), 

''■>9 

Eduard Nortz to Public Prosecutor Dressc, May 23, 1923, HA A/104, 

Ibid. 

Ibid. 

Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikallsmus , pp, 191-196; 
Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 125-126. 

PDM — Kmdo der LaPo Munchen. "Ubersicht iiber die Vorgange in 
der Nacht v, 30.4/1.5 und am 1.5.23," HA 4/104. 

64 

PDM VlaF 858/20/ internal report. May 3, 1923, HA 67/1488. 

Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch , pp. 197-198. 

McDougall, France's Rhineland Diplomacy , pp. 116-122. 
McDougall's work, based upon a careful analysis of official French 
documents, has the best treatment of Heim's contacts with the French. 
Official Bavarian sources, in contrast, are notably reticent on this 
matter, mute testimony to Heim's behind-the-scenes influence. The 
reports of Heim's French contacts make clear the limits of Heim's 
"separatism" and its similarity to the "cell of order" idea common 
to the Bavarian radical right. 

The Fuchs-Machhaus affair remains, after over fifty years, one 
of the least understood incidents in this otherwise intensively studied 
period. Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch , pp. 209-120, 
dismisses the entire matter with several jocular references to its 
comic-opera aspects. Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikallsmus , 
pp. 134-141, treats the case altogether more seriously and thoroughly; 
his account is the best historical treatment available. My own treat- 
ment of this case is based upon Fenske, supplemented by a consideration 
of the available primary sources. These include the basic collection 
of official documents on the case, MA 100 446, which contains, among 
a number of useful items, a transcript of the trial of Fuchs and his 
cohorts; the comprehensive collection of contemporary newspaper ac- 
counts of the case in M Inn 71785; and Fuchs 's own account of the 
case, a 216-page manuscript prepared for the Nazi party and dated 
May 17, 1936. The last of these is obviously tfndentious and must be 
used to round out the picture of tlie case. The Fuchs manuscript may 
be found In HA 4/113 and liA 5/113. 



167 



See 6/ above. 

69 

Minister President's office to M Inn, no date (but from 

internal evidence summer of 1922), MA 100 446a. 
See 6/ above. 

Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , pp. 140-142. 

72 

For Mantel's appointment, see Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall 

Putsch , p. 204, 

73 

The head of PDM VI, Bernreuther, commented on this overload 

in connection with one such case. See Schutzmannschaf t Abt. I to 

the Police President, July 20, 1923, HA 67/1489, 

74 

Benz, Polltik in Bayern , pp. 126-128, 

For these developments as viewed from the vantage point of the 
Knilling cabinet, see the excerpts from the cabinet meetings of 
Aug. 17, Sept. 11, Sept. 20, and Sept. 26, cited in Deuerlein, Per 
Hitlerputsch , pp, 159-161, 165-166, 178-179, 180-182. 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 132-133. 

The Lossow affair, as it came to be called, has generated a 
certain degree of controversy, Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall 
Putsch , p, 229, reduces the case to an argument between Bavaria and 
the Reich over their relative constitutional powers. It may be, as 
Gordon says, that the Bavarian government was not particularly 
interested in protecting the Nazi movement — the case had arisen 
out of Reich reactions to an article in the Nazi newspaper, the 
Volkischer Beobachter , It is, nonetheless, misleading to see the case 
as simply an argument over constitutional principle. As Kahr himself 
described the issue in the case, it had nothing to do with General 
Lossow, nothing to do with the Bavarian or tlie Reich governments. It 
was instead a struggle between these governments to determine if the 
destiny of all Germany was to be "International-Marxist-Jewish" or 
"national-German." This statement is from a speech of Kahr's to the 
senior army officers in Munich, Oct. 19, 1923, cited in Deuerlein, 
Per Hitlerputsch , pp. 237-238. The point here is, once again, that 
it is an over-simplification to view the many controversies between 
Bavaria and the Reich as genteel philosophical disagreements about state 
versus national authority. They contained such elements, to be sure, 
1)11 L iJiey were also a ijarL of Llie of tent lines hniL.illy ugly KLru^gle 
between the political left and rif.lit being wa)',ed during the period. 



168 



7R 

The Beer Hall Putsch of November 8/November 9, 1923, has been the 
subject oT a number of scholnrly studies. Tlie best of those is still 
found in Ernst Deuerlein's Introduction to his edited collection of 
documents relating to the putsch. See Deuerlein, P er Hit] orputsch , 
pp. 9-113. Fenske, Konservativismus und Rcchtsradikal ismus , pp. 185- 
223, contains an excellent summary of the events leading to the putsch 
and is the best treatment of Kahr's policies during these events. 
Hofmann's Per Hitlerputsch is less satisfactory. The only major 
study in English is that of Harold J. Gordon, Hitler and the Beer 
Hall Putsch . Gordon's work is in many ways admirable. It contains the 
most careful and thorough narrative of the putsch events themselves 
to be found in any language, and it is one of those rare works of 
general history to recognize the importance of the police. Gordon's 
tendency to interpret early Nazism in terms of American student 
radicalism in the 1960's, however, is highly questionable and leads 
to some strange judgements. My summary of the putsch events is based 
upon a comparative reading of these several works, the transcripts 
of the putsch trial, already cited as Hitler Trial , Vols. 1-3, and 
the transcripts of the 1927 Landtag inquiry into these events in 
MA 103 476/1-3. 

79 

See 78 above. 

80 

PPM to General State Commissar Kahr, Pec. 7, 1923, cited in 
Peuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch , pp. 469-477. This report summarizes the 
activities of the PPM during the putsch. 

81 

PPM to M Inn, March 25, 1924, HA 67/1491. This report presents 
the basic defense of the political police role in the putsch events. 

82 

For the behavior of many PPM officers during the putsch see 
the 1924 statements collected in HA 68/1494. The statements of 
Matthaus Hofmann, Siegfried Herrmann, and Priedrich Glaser are of 
particular interest. 

Testimony of Priedrich Bernreuther, Hitler Trial , Vol. 1, 
pp. 382-386. Pespite Bernreuther 's arrest by the putschists, his 
testimony suggested a continuing loyalty to his former superior. Prick. 

84 , 

Mantel s reflections are contained in PPM to M Inn. April 5 
1924, HA 67/1491. 



CHAPTER A 
THE EXPANSION OE THE POLITICAL POLICE SYSTI'M, 1923-1930 

The failure of the Beer Hall Putsch marked the end of an era 
in Bavarian politics. Successive Bavarian governments had lived 
under the shadow of the armed radical right, their every move toward 
a more moderate course threatened by the fear of a putsch. Now the 
long-gathering storm had finally broken, leaving the government with 
the task of sweeping up the detritus left in its wake. Although the 
days immediately following the putsch were filled with tension, the 
LaPo and the PDM's Schutzmannschaf t remained in control of the Munich 
streets. The major participants in the putsch — including, among 
others, Hitler, Pohner, Frick, Kriebel, and the famous General Erich 
Ludendorff — had been taken into custody and were awaiting trial. 
The Nazi party and its allied organizations had been banned. After 
a decent interval, the Knilling government rid itself of Kahr, whose 
presence in a position of authority had become a considerable burden. 
The one-time "strong man" had little support left. The radical right 
now despised him for having "betrayed" the putsch, while moderates 
viewed his policies as having led directly to the November debacle. 
Given the tangled relationship between Kahr and the radical right, 
the government could not hope to see a successful prosecution of the 
leading putschists so long as Kahr continued as General State 
Commissar. 



69 



170 



The trial of Hitler and his compatriots, which took place in 
l''ebriiary and Marcii o! 1924, lielped revive tlie lortunes of tlie radical 
rij'Jit. The ck'Tendants took advantaj-.e of Liie (U)urt's Ic-nient disposition 
to turn the proceedings into a propaganda circus, in which the charges 
were, in effect, reversed. In the court of public opinion the 
defendants placed the government on trial for treason to the "true, 
national Germany." At the end of the trial the defendants received 
uniformly mild sentences, in recognition of their "patriotic motives" 
and in sharp contrast to the judgements meted out to participants 
in the Soviet Republic of 1919. The government itself received a 
stiffer verdict in the larger trial before the voters of Bavaria. 
Less than a week after the conclusion of the putsch trial, on 
April 6, 1924, a new Landtag was elected. Virtually every major 
party lost seats; the parties of the governing coalition, the BVP 
and the DNVP, lost twenty-four of their eighty-one seats in the old 
Landtag . The SPD and the DDP experienced similar losses. The only 
victors in the election were the adherents of the Volkischer Block , 
an electoral coalition of radical right-wing groups, who jumped from 
a miniscule two seats to a substantial twenty-three. The Block 's 
greatest successes came in those Protestant regions of northern 
Bavaria which had long been strongholds of radical sentiment and in 
Munich, where the propaganda influence of the putsch trial had its 
greatest impact. Despite the setback on November 9, 1923, the 

radical right clearly remained a force to be reckoned with in Bavarian 

1 • • 1 
politics . 



171 



The political maneuvering which led to the formation of the new 
IJ.ivar 1.111 )M)vcM-iiinent proved a measure of the radical rij',ht's coutlniu'd 
Influence. The Knilllnp; cabinet, in accordance with the constitution, 
had resigned from office following the Landtag elections. The 
election results, although a disappointment for the BVP, had confirmed 
that party's position as the strongest political party in the state. 
The BVP, as before, would clearly take the leading role in the new 
government. It could not, however, rule alone; coalition partners 
were necessary. One possibility, at least theoretically, was a 
centrist government similar to the coalition which ruled in Berlin, 
a coalition consisting of the BVP, the SPD, and the DDP. Together 
these parties would have a comfortable majority in the new Landtag . 
This solution, however, had little appeal for the BVP leadership. 
Five years had passed since the end of the Soviet Republic. The 
radical right had only recently attempted the armed overthrow of the 
Bavarian government. Still, the gulf which separated the BVP from 
the moderate left remained as deep as ever; the party still tended to 
make little distinction between the moderate left, represented by the 
SPD, and the radical Communists. Thus, the BVP turned once again to 
the DNVP with an offer to continue the conservative coalition. 

By refusing to consider the centrist alternative, the BVP gave 
the DNVP a decisive say in the political bargaining which followed. 
Mindful of the radical right-wing sympathies among its own supporters, 
the DNVP leadership insisted that the Volkischer Block be invited to 



172 



join the coalition discussions. The Peasants' League, the third 
party essential to the formation of a conservative coalition, supported 
the DNVP's demand. These talks, not surprisingly, came to nothing. 
The BVP's rightward orientation did not extend to an open embrace 
of the radical right, nor did the radical right show any great 
willingness to cooperate with the BVP. Finally, the DNVP and the 
Peasants' League agreed to the formation of a new government without 
the participation of the Block . Heinrich Held, the leader of the BVP's 
Landtag delegation, became the new Minister President. Despite 
opposition from both the moderate wing of the BVP and the radical 
right supporters within the DNVP, Franz Giirtner continued as Minister 
of Justice; the former regarded him as too lenient toward the 
Patriotic Associations, the latter as not lenient enough, but the DNVP 
leadership insisted upon his retention. In contrast, the BVP was 

compelled to sacrifice Interior Minister Schweyer, whose consistent 

2 
efforts to control the radical right had earned its lasting hatred. 

The era of constant putsch threats had ended, but, as the 

negotiations for a renewed coalition demonstrated, little else had 

changed. Burned by the failure of the Beer Hall Putsch, the radical 

right would embark upon a parliamentary course as a means of exerting 

its influence. Unwilling to open a door to its left, the BVP invited 

the continued pressure of the right. To be sure, responsibility for 

the enmity between the SPD and the BVP could not be laid solely at 

the doorstep of the latter; the Social Democrats had given their share 



173 



to the accumulation of ill-feeling. Moreover, in its day-to-day 
deaJJncs, the IWl' tacitly acknowledged tliat the Bavarian SIM), which 
had traditionally adhered to the conservative position witliin German 
Social Democracy, was not as evil as the national SPD. The BVP, 
nonetheless, did little to heal these divisions and much to exacerbate 
them. Held himself tended to lump all shades of socialism together, 
making little allowance for the distinctions between the SPD and the 
KPD and giving little recognition to the SPD's o\m role in the sup- 
pression of Communism in 1919. In the election campaign of 1924, 
which preceded the formation of the Held government, the BVP condemned 
the SPD as anti-Christian, a cruel and unfair blow against a party 
nurtured in the tradition of Georg von Vollmar, whose socialism was 
combined with a devout Catholicism and an equal devotion to the special 
place of Bavaria within Germany. Worse, in the same campaign, BVP 
propagandists characterized the republican and centrist DDP as the 
"protectress of big capital under Jewish leadership," a phrase which 
aped the worst features of radical right-wing anti-Semitism. Held 
himself, while disclaiming a personal anti-Semitism, was capable of 
remarking: 



Is it not, perhaps, correct, that the German 
people have been led into the morass ( in den Sumpf 
gefijhrt worden ist ) through more than a hundred 
years under the influence in the spiritual and 
moral sphere of Jewish philosophers, poets, and 
writers?'^ 



Compared with the flaming rhetoric of Hitler and his associates. 



174 



Ileld's statement was relatively mild; compared witli the resolute 
roJL'ctlon of any anL l-Semitlsm oxprt'sscHl by Lorclienlelcl In his great 
speech of April 5, 1922, a speech which added little to Lerchenf eld 's 
political support in Bavaria, Held's remarks on the Jewish question 
rang harshly. Mild or harsh, such remarks did little to promote 
tolerance of Bavaria's Jewish minority or to retard the growth of 
ethnic hostility. 

While unwilling to allow distinctions between the various 
socialist groups, the BVP showed a much finer sensibility with 
respect to the radical right. In 1922, Fritz Schaffer, already 
the rising star among the BVP's younger generation and later to 
become the party's political chairman and chief spokesman, expressed 
understanding and sympathy for the Nazis' energetic anti-Marxism 
and their attitude on the Jewish question. Schaffer's reservations 
about Nazism were limited to his fear of the "socialism" in National 
Socialism and his concern about unitarist tendencies within Hitler's 
movement — the Nazis needed to be better Bavarians'. Even Schweyer 
made allowance for the "sound nationalist core" of the radical right. 
The events of 1923 taught the BVP to distrust the Nazis and made the 
government extremely wary of Hitler personally. The increasing 
evidence of Nazi anti-clericalism deepened the hostility between the 
BVP and the NSDAP. The displacement of Nazism's main sphere of 
activity to northern Germany, coupled as it was with increasing 
evidence of the "leftward" tendencies within National Socialism, 



175 



raised further doubts in the minds of BVP representatives. After 
I')2! lh(M-f cduld he I I I L I c (|uosti(Mi Lh.iL Lhi- IWI', with JLs L r.id I L I on.i 1 - 
conservative outlook, its commitment to Catholicism, and its special 
sense of the Bavarian role, stood in opposition to Hitler and his 
followers. The depth of this opposition, however, would fluctuate 
during the years down to 1933. Within Bavaria, Nazi propagandists 
took great care to minimize the differences between their position 
and that of the Catholic church and to emphasize their party's 
hostility to Marxism and to the Marxist-tainted Weimar Republic. 
The Nazi party likewise wrapped itself in the Bavarian "white-blue" 
colors on every possible occasion, exploiting its connection to such 
popular Bavarian figures as General Franz, Ritter von Epp. Such 
tactics clouded the distinctions between Nazism and the BVP, if not 
In the minds of the BVP leadership, then at least for many of the 
party's ordinary supporters. The BVP was a broadly-based political 
party which represented a shifting balance of political opinions. 
If these shifts sometimes took the party away from the radical right, 
they also sometimes carried it in the opposite direction. 

This ambivalent posture found reflection in an area of great 
importance to the development of the political police, the government's 
stance on the political participation of civil servants. In contrast 
to other German states, where civil servants had been prohibited from 
joining the Nazi party, the Bavarian government confined itself to 
warning its servants about possible conflicts of loyalty and took 



176 



action only on a case-by-case basis. The attitude which prevailed 
untlJ the early 1930 's found expression In a 1931 Ministry of Finance 
memorandum: 



This much seems in any case clear, that the 
question (of civil servants participating in 
party activities) concerning the NSDAP is more 
doubtful than that of the KPD, for in contrast 
to the latter the former's hostile attitude to 
the state does not follow directly from the party 
programme, and the general attitude of the party 
authorities is not so clear-cut as that of the 
KPD,^ 



During the crisis years immediately preceding the Nazi takeover in 
Germany, the BVP and the Bavarian government would show Increasing 
uneasiness about the ties connecting many civil servants to the Nazi 
movement, ruefully discovering that its earlier tolerance had been 
rewarded with the creation of a state machinery which could not be 
fully trusted in the conflict with Nazism. 

The contradictions working beneath the surface of Bavarian 
politics would only become obvious after 1930, when the effects of 
the Great Depression began to spread and the Weimar Republic began 
to collapse at the center. The Held government would remain in 
office until the Nazi takeover in 1933 and enjoyed, until 1930, a 
secure position of power. An improved economic situation during the 



*The comments of Interior Minister Karl Stutzel, Schweyer's successor 
and the cabinet member most directly concerned with the loyalty 
problem, are discussed in Chapter 5. 



177 



years I92A to 1929 contributed to political stability within Bavaria, 
as In the rest of (ieniiany. The suppression l)y tlie Rel chswelir of tlte 
serious Communist disturbances In October 1923, temporarily eased 
fears of a recurrence of 1919. The legal, parliamentary course 
adopted by the Nazi party and other radical right-wing groups 
masked the very real differences which existed between the radical 
right and the Bavarian state. In Bavaria and throughout the rest of 
Germany, the accumulated hostilities of the immediate post-war years 
continued to burble just below the surface. The republic, by and 
large, was tolerated rather than actively supported. It was neither 
respected nor loved. The divisions between left and right still set 
the tone of political discourse. 

It was in this political environment that the political police 
in Bavaria evolved as an Institution over the next six years. The 
surface relaxation of the political atmosphere lent a routine air 
to the actual day-to-day operations of the political police. The 
direct influence of Pohner and Frick upon their former subordinates 
in the political police system had been ended in 1923 with the 
removal of Frick from the PDM. Frick went on to an active political 
career in the Nazi party; Pohner followed a similar course until his 
untimely death in an automobile accident in 1925. Their indirect 
influence upon the political police, however, remained strong, finding 
expression in the continued prominence of Bernreuther and other 
like-minded products of the Pohner era within the system. No 



178 



wholesale purge oF rndlcnl right sympathizers In the ranks of the 
political police had been conducted after the Beer Hall Putsch. 
Police Presiclcnt Mantel, unlike liis immediate jirecedeHsor , Nortz, 
proved himself strong enough to hold the PDM on a course loyal to the 
government, but, given the absence of clear directives from above 
and the legal difficulties inherent in firing a tenured civil servant, 
could do little to change the personal composition of the PDM. 

Within the political police system, the period from 1923 to 
1930 was a time of expansion, an expansion built upon the organiza- 
tional developments which had taken place prior to 1923. The founda- 
tion for the political police system in Bavaria remained in the PDM's 
Department VI. Its five desks performed much of the political 
police work for the entire state, particularly until 1929. It co- 
ordinated the work of other agencies in the political police field. 
Most of all, it set the standards for the political police in Bavaria 
and served as a model for the new political police offices which 
would be created during this period. 

These standards arose out of concrete experiences. The 
professionalization of the political policeman took place in the 
political department Itself. The individual officer usually came 
to the political police with a background in ordinary police work, or 
from another branch of the civil service. He learned his new job 
on the job, under the supervision of more experienced officers. The 
initial investigations into the Hartung case by officers Gehauf, Fell, 



179 



and Becher illustrated how older officers helped younger ones to 
learn the ropes. T.lke Bcchor, these younger officers would ]ater 
become fullfledged members of the political police, and, in turn, 
pass their experience on to the next generation. To understand this 
learning process and, more fundamentally, to understand the values 
which would permeate the political police system, one must first 
understand the work of the five desks of Department VI. 

Desk Via carried out the greatest variety of tasks. These came 
under two broad headings, staff work for the entire department and 
the investigation of political crimes. As a headquarters staff. 
Desk Via linked the political department with the other departments 
of the PDM, with other police agencies outside of Munich, and with 
the police section of the Ministry of the Interior. It also performed 
general administrative work for the political department. A special 
sub-desk, designated VlaF, carried out the investigation of political 
crimes on behalf of the Public Prosecutor's office. Of all the 
components of Department VI, VlaF most closely approximated a regular 
police detective force. The other desks in the department would 
initiate a case by developing information from their own sources and 
then, when the case was ready for actual prosecution, turn the 
information over to VlaF with a request for the necessary searches 



*The "F" in VlaF stood for Fahndungsabteilung , literally "investigation 
department. " 



180 



and arrests. The same pattern would be followed if a case originated 
oLitsidc the political department. Tlie Public Prosecutor or the 
Police President might direct the transferrai of a case from the 
criminal police or from anotlier police agency in Bavaria, if the 
political ramifications of the case so dictated. A case emanating 
from another state would be treated similarly. In 1928 the Hamburg 
police uncovered a plot to blow up the Reichstag building and to 
kidnap its members. The author of the plot appeared to be a Communist 
sympathizer living in the Bavarian city of Passau. The Hamburg 
political police sent a request to the PDM for a follow-up investiga- 
tion. An officer from VlaF went to Passau, and, with the assistance 

Q 

of the local police, arrested the suspect. 

In doubtful cases, where the political dimensions of the case 
were uncertain, VlaF would work together with the detective section 
of the regular criminal police. In this manner officers of VlaF 
were called to join with regular criminal detectives in the investi- 
gation of the automobile accident which took the life of their former 
superior. Police President Pohner. Rumors that the accident had, 
in fact, been an arranged political murder — rumors which were later 
demonstrated as unprovable — made the Pohner case a matter for the 
combined efforts of homicide specialists and the political police. 



*The Hartung case once again provided an example of this procedure 
with the transferrai of the case from the gendarmerie in Zusmarshausen 
to PDM VlaF. This case, of course, also demonstrated how, if it suited 
his own motives, the Police President could take a case away from VlaF. 



181 



Lesser political cases might also be left outright to the criminal 
polJcL' diirinj' per tods whon the political case load was jiart icularl y 
heavy. With a staFF whicli averaged l^etween FiFteen and twenty 
officers, VlaF was frequently overburdened. Cases of political sub- 
version were also shared with the counterespionage police at Desk VIb, 

the only other branch of the political department endowed with 

9 

executive powers. 

The counterespionage police occupied a special place within 
the overall police administration. The nature of its mission against 
spies, traitors, and political subversives required the closest 
possible contact with military intelligence and with other political 
police agencies. It further lent to the work of Desk VIb an aura 
of popularity not shared by the other desks at PDM VI. During the 
1920 's the efforts of Desk VIb centered upon combatting the espionage 
threat posed by the French and Czechs and the subversion threat 
presented by the Conmiunist movement, also, in the police view, the 
representative of an enemy foreign power. 

The work of French spies in Bavaria represented a continuation 
of wartime espionage operations under peacetime conditions. The 
French intelligence service sought information on the military 
strength of the Reichswehr in Bavaria, of the LaPo, and of the Civic 
Guard and the later Patriotic Associations. The French were especially 
concerned about connections between the Reichswehr and the various 
paramilitary organizations, suspecting, with some justification, that 



182 



these links were meant to further the evasion of the Versailles 
treaty limitations. Thus, French undercover aj;ents often received 
instructions to explore the connections between the army and these 
groups. Using various covers, the French maintained an espionage 
office within Munich itself. The French zone of occupation in the 
Rhineland also served as a base for covert operations into Bavaria; 
moreover, the French could use their prerogatives as an occupying 
power to help in recruiting agents from the region. Finally, French 
consular of ficers in Switzerland concealed yet another headquarters 
for intelligence activities in Bavaria and other parts of southern 
Germany. Few of these operations escaped the notice of Desk VIb. 

The Darmont case illustrated both the pattern of French espionage 
in Bavaria, and the methods employed by Desk VIb in response. 
Darmont was a young officer in the French army, who had been assigned 
to full-time intelligence duties in 1920. In 1921 he set up shop 
in the French consulate in Basel and began to build a string of 
agents in southern Germany. To cover his operations he employed a 
variety of aliases, and posed in turn as a businessman or as an 
official of a New York-based pacifist league. On his trips through 
southern Germany Darmont sought out the company of young officers and 
enlisted men of the Reichswehr . One such encounter led to the 
recruitment of a young private, who Darmont then assigned to report 
upon military maneuvers. In return the private was to receive a 
substantial cash reward. With this incentive, he soon was preparing 
reports and mailing them to a cover address in Switzerland. 



183 



Sometimes Darmont used intermediaries to recruit agents, as 
TurLlier Insurnnce oT his own security. OTtcn enouf'.li, however, this 
step was unnecessary, for agents, once recruited, then began to 
recruit others on their own initiative. Thus, subsidiary networks 
grew up, usually composed of the initial recruits' friends — a not 
very systematic approach, and one which ultimately compromised the 
overall security of operations. 

Communications between Darmont and his agents depended upon the 
mail, the use of couriers, and direct contacts between the agent and 
Darmont himself. Agents would be summoned to Basel to receive their 
assignments from Darmont, or arrangements would be made for a meeting 
during one of Darmont 's frequent trips to Germany. Unfortunately for 
Darmont, the security arrangements for these meetings were something 
less than professional. Little provision was made for dead letter 
drops or for other, similar devices to insulate one member of the 
network from the others. A letter sent by the above-mentioned young 
soldier was intercepted by the military censors. Another agent's 
correspondence aroused the suspicion of his concierge, who brought 
it to the attention of the local gendarmerie. A young woman recruited 
by Darmont as a courier betrayed herself when an assignment to Munich 
brought her into contact with a soldier working as a double-agent for 
the counterespionage police. These and other breaks enabled VIb and 
military intelligence to draw an ever tighter ring around the French 
officer. Vital in this regard was the close cooperation of agencies 



184 



throughout southern Germany. An arrest in Munich would lead to further 
Information about the overall network, which would then be shared with 
the police in Stuttgart, or vice-versa. Likewise, the police pooled 
their information with military counterintelligence. In contrast 
to the rivalry which had afflicted police and military political 
information services, a common effort characterized their association 
in the counterespionage field. This common effort allowed a trap to 
be set for Darmont. 

A soldier of the Reichswehr garrison in Konstanz took up contact 
with Darmont, presenting himself as the middleman for a certain 
Hans Knall, an officer cadet in the garrison. The soldier in reality 
was working for the political police, and Cadet Knall was fictional. 
An exchange of letters between "Knall" — actually the political 
police — and Darmont whetted the latter 's interest. Finally, Darmont 
asked for a meeting with Knall at a clandestine spot on the German- 
Swiss border. The role of Cadet Knall was taken by a young political 
police officer, supported by a customs official from the area who 
knew the terrain well. The customs official disguised himself as a 
farmer and held himself in readiness close by the meeting place. The 
contact was effected. In the course of the following conversation 
Darmont strayed into German territory. Sensing the closing trap, he 
tried to get back over the border, but was grabbed by the police 
officer and thrown to the ground. After the arrest had been completed, 
the police officer discovered that Darmont carried on his person papers 
identifying a number of his agents, a list which led to further arrests. 



185 



The Darmont case demonstrated counterespionage at its most ef- 
fective. Certainly, Darmont's errors in tradecraft eased the work of 
the political police. He had not proved himself the wiliest of 
opponents. Still, without the careful cultivation of informers and 
double agents, the strict observation of security routine in matters 
such as military censorship, and close cooperation between a variety 
of agencies civilian and military, Darmont would not have been 
identified as a spy. Had the police not been willing to combine 
imagination with careful planning, he could not have been captured. 

Not all operations against the French or the Czechs would be so 

12 
successful. Still, the Darmont case showed what the political 

police, at their best, were capable of achieving. 

A report by a concierge to a local gendarme had contributed to 

the eventual arrest of Darmont. This was not an isolated occurrence, 

for in many cases clues supplied by ordinary policemen assisted the 

political police in their mission. This successful cooperation 

did not come about by accident. Desk VIb devoted serious effort to 

building good relationships with the gendarmerie — unlike the 

political policemen of other desks, who sometimes treated the 

gendarmes as country bumpkins — and with other official agencies. 

In 1925 the Munich counterespionage police took this effort a step 

further by offering a course in counterespionage procedures for the 

benefit of officers from throughout the state. The first course was 

offered in March 1925, and was thereafter repeated at regular 



186 



intervals tlirough tlie end of the decade. At first the emphasis was 
|)lac(.Ml on Lraliilii}', (loJ icemen from the horder districts, par 1 1 cular J y 
those from the l:)order of Czechoslovakia, but later invitations went 
to districts in all parts of the state. Each district office and 
city government selected one or two police officers to travel to 
Munich for the course, which usually lasted for one week. There these 
officers received instruction from the experts of VIb in such subjects 
as the overall organization of the counterespionage police, the 
use of the central card index and files maintained by VIb, the 
standard procedures followed by the foreign espionage services, and 

the techniques used in identifying and apprehending spies. Case 

13 
studies served to illustrate the methods taught. 

Above all, the counterespionage courses provided those regular 
policemen who took part with an opportunity to become acquainted with 
the officers of VIb and with their opposite numbers throughout the 
state. The efforts of foreign spies rarely remained within strict 
jurisdictional lines, and thus neither could the efforts of the spy- 
catchers. The contacts promoted by the counterespionage courses helped 
insure that jurisdictional rivalries and resentments would not impair 
the workings of the overall counterespionage system. And, not 
incidentally, they imbued hundreds of Bavarian policemen with the 
values and standards of the PDM. 

In carrying out its statewide mission, however, VIb did not 
solely depend upon the cooperative support of independent local 



187 



agencies. The Interior Ministry decree of March 16, 1923, empowered 
the counterespionage police desk, In its role as central office for 
the state, to intervene directly in any jurisdiction and to command 
the support of all local agencies. But the power of PDM VIb to 
range throughout the state did not depend only upon this decree, nor 
was it limited by the demands of specific cases. A sub-desk of PDM 
VIb possessed a standing brief to operate throughout the entire state, 
independent of all local agencies. This was the "Railway Surveillance 
Service," or, from its German initials, the EiiD. 

The EiiD had been a product of wartime conditions, specifically 
of the desire to extend counterespionage surveillance to cover the 
travelling public. The unsettled conditions of the post-war period 
provided a pretext for its continuation. PDM VIb detailed plain- 
clothes officers to accompany the trains passing through Bavaria 
as a supplement to the overall counterespionage effort. These 

officers patrolled the various mainline trains on a regular basis, 

14 
checking passports or simply observing the behavior of passengers. 

The result, as may well be Imagined, was a standing imposition on 

the travelling public. This produced a monumental administrative 

conflict between the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior and the national 

railway service — yet another conflict between state and national 



*See Chapter 1. 

**This full German name was Eisenbahnuberwachungs-Dienst. 



188 



authorities! From 3 920 onward the railway administration regularly 
complained ahout the disturbance attendant upon passport checks, and 
backed its complaints by repeated threats to withdriiw its support. 
These threats carried considerable weight, for the officers of the 
EuD could not use the trains without the free travel passes provided 
by the railway administration. Forced on the defensive, the Ministry 
of the Interior responded with two arguments. These arguments revealed 
clearly the Ministry's reasons for clinging to this wartime institution, 
and suggested that the Ministry's most pressing concerns had little 
to do with conventional counterespionage. 

The Ministry began by stressing that the officers of the EiiD 
were directly responsible to the central state authority. Thus, in 
those cities where the local police were not responsive to the political 
line dictated from Munich — the police in Wiirzburg and Hof were 
singled out here — branch offices of the EuD could serve as functional 
replacements for the local political police. In the industrialized 
cities of northern Bavaria, where a large working-class population 
ensured a strong socialist influence within the city councils, the 
police could not be regarded as unquestioning Instruments of the state 
government's policies. The government was working toward a more 
permanent administrative solution to this problem, but, in the 
meantime, the EiiD provided a useful substitute. 

The Ministry's second argument followed from this, and raised 
a familiar political issue. The EuD, it contended, formed an important 



189 



element in the state's arsenal against Communist subversion. From 
the earliest days of its post-war existence the I'aiD had been viewed 
in this llglit; indeed, the decrees which mandated its continuation 
after the armistice drew attention to the "bolshevist" threat as 
justifying ongoing surveillance of rail traffic. Radical leftist 
ideas, after all, were regarded by Bavarian leaders as a foreign 
importation, a disease carried by Russian and north German agents — 
the latter as much "foreign" as the former in Bavarian eyes. This 
being the case, careful police control of the main transportation 
network commended itself as a useful prophylactic device. 

In its decree of March 16 1923, and in its defense of the EilD 
the Ministry of the Interior placed special emphasis on the role of 
the counterespionage police in the battle against leftist subversion. 
The tendency to equate "leftist" with "foreign" endowed this emphasis 
with a certain logic. The counterespionage police were meant to 
combat foreign agents; leftists were the servants of a foreign power, 
be it headquartered in Berlin or Moscow; the counterespionage police 
should therefore operate against the threat of political subversion. 
As numerous cases testified, RDM VIb took this aspect of its overall 
mission very seriously, and went about the work of ferreting out 
subversives with zest. 

In the area of political subversion the tasks of the RDM's 
Desks Via and VIb overlapped. Via dealt with subversive activities 
which involved the criminal violation of laws other than the laws 



190 



against working for the interests of a foreign power; VIb dealt with 
those vIoJatJons. In jiractice such distinctions could rarely be 
maintained, and tiuis botli desks worked together or divided n[i sncii 
cases on an ad hoc basis. A similar overlap characterized the work 
of the next two desks of the PDM's political department. The duties 
of Desks Vic and VId were primarily regulatory rather than investi- 
gative. The work of Vic was explicitly so; further, it operated 
openly, without recourse to the undercover operations employed, in 
varying degrees, by the other desks. Desk Vic scarcely conformed to 
the image of a secret political police, for its activities were 
neither secret, nor, in the usual sense of the term, political. It 
administered the laws governing copyrights; it issued official press 

passes and identity cards; it regulated the daily press and the 

19 
publishing houses. Although Desk Vic bore the basic responsibility 

for regulating the press. Desk VId often performed precisely the same 

task, as part of Its overall mission of supervising legitimate 

political activity. Violations committed by those newspapers controlled 

or linked to political parties — which meant in practice the majority 

of newspapers in Munich — tended to fall within the purview of VId. 

Bans on the appearance of party newspapers or on other forms of 

political propaganda emanated from this desk. The government's 

customary reaction to political criticism — a ban on the offending 

newspaper — led to frequent running battles between VId and the 

SPD's Muncher Post and, particularly after 1923, the Nazis' Volkischer 

n u ,. 20 
Beobachter. 



191 



Desk VId's other regulatory tasks included the Issuance of 
permits for i^ublic demonstrations and meetings, and the enforcement 
of statutes governing such activities. Restrictions on the wearing 
of uniforms and military insignia by political organizations also 

brought VId into conflict with the Communist, Socialist, and Nazi 

21 
paramilitary branches. All three groups complained bitterly that 

the government showed favoritism toward one or both of the others, 

complaints which, ironically, lent the enforcement efforts of Desk VId 

an appearance of even-handedness. 

The limits of this even-handedness were demonstrated by a 1925 

episode relating to the ban on Hitler's public speeches. After 

Hitler's release from the Landsberg fortress in December 1924, the 

police watched his activities closely. An inflammatory passage in 

a speech delivered by him on February 27, 1925, prompted what became 

22 
a two-year ban on his appearance before public gatherings. 

On October 24, 1925, a delegation of three National Socialists 

23 
appeared at the PDM to protest this ban. The record of their 

discussion revealed both their attitude toward the police and the 

reciprocal police policy toward the NSDAP at that time. The delegation 

arrived at 10:15 on a Saturday morning and requested an audience with 

Police President Mantel. Mantel, tliey were told, was in conference. 

The desk officer referred them to the head of Department VI, 

Regierungsrat Bernreuther. Bernreuther, however, was also unavailable. 

His deputy, Re gierungsrat Frank, received the delegation instead. The 



192 



discussion in Frank's office opened with an exchange of pleasantries; 
l''r;ink ;ipolo);iz;ed lor the Jnabllity of Mantel ami liernreiitlicr to meet 
tlie delegates. Tliis done, the leader of the delegation, a certain 
Schiedermacher, announced that their purpose was to discuss the too- 
rigorous measures adopted by the police against the NSDAP. He posed 
a series of questions. Was the Nazi party permitted to exist? Frank 
replied affirmatively. Did Frank understand that the party was a 
legally registered political organization? He replied that he did. 
Was the leader of a legal political party permitted to speak before 
a closed meeting consisting exclusively of party members? Of course. 
Then came the key question, the question to which Schiedermacher 
had been building: "Then why do you forbid not only closed meetings 
of the NSDAP, but also even meetings at which only the party leader- 
ship is represented, whenever Herr Hitler is present?" 

Frank responded: "Ah, yes, gentlemen, this is quite another 
case. In these meetings Herr Hitler would not only be present, but 
would also speak — that you must concede. But Herr Hitler is not 
permitted to speak at any gathering. The ban is in no way aimed at the 
party, but rather at Herr Hitler." 

At this point the other members of the delegation intervened 
with expressions of surprise. Frank explained that Hitler had been 
forbidden to speak before both open and closed gatherings. The 
delegates complained that this latter restriction made members of the 
party "second-class citizens" ( Burger zweite Klasse ) , exhibiting. 



193 



for National Socialists, an unusual concern for the niceties of liberal 
lc')',al prorrclure. The ile1 e)^',a tes Llien asked If the lian emanated from 
tlie I'DM itself, or If it originated wJ tli a hij^hcr authority — was it 
based upon police regulations, or was it a political decision? 

Frank strongly denied the last suggestion, and insisted that the 
ban was primarily the responsibility of the PDM. He contended that the 
ban was entirely consistent with the law, and stressed that the 
members of the Nazi party were not the objects of discrimination. He 
continued: 



On the contrary. We in no way deny the strong 
patriotic core of your movement, and, I must also 
say, Herr Hitler has performed an unquestionable 
service ( unstreitbares Verdienst ) in having helped 
awaken national feelings in Germany. It is not 
as you think. We take no Satanic pleasure in 
forbidding your gatherings, but are only meeting 
our responsibility to prevent a recurrence of the 
events of November 8, 1923. When we have 
assurances that Herr Hitler will do nothing 
against the Constitution, then we can begin to 
think in terms of relaxing the ban against him. 



Frank then reminded the delegates of Hitler's February 27 speech, and 
suggested that Hitler's menacing tone made doubtful his commitment 
to constitutional means. The delegation disputed this, but Frank would 
not give way. He did, however, repeat his promise to do everything 
possible to ease the restrictions upon Hitler, once the latter had 
demonstrated his willingness to forego radical action. 

A further exchange of pleasantries brought the meeting to a close. 
The Nazi delegates departed with the feeling that the police bore them 



194 



no particular ill-will, and that careful beliavior by Hitler would 



U'.ul to a .speedy relaxation of tlie ban. In this the 



y were lo be 



9/ 

disillusioned; the ban would continue until 1927. I'Yank had been 
less than candid in claiming that the PDM bore final responsibility for 
determining when Hitler would be permitted to speak. "Higher 
authority" did in fact have the final determination here. Still, 
his words had accurately reflected the general sentiments of his 
superiors at the PDM, in the Ministry of the Interior, and at the 
cabinet level. In acknowledging the "strong patriotic core" of the 
Nazi movement and in conceding Hitler's "unquestionable service" to 
national feeling in Germany, Frank was only repeating what had been 
said before by more prominent figures. Similarly, his reservations 
about the Nazi movement focused on Hitler's personal penchant for 
violence, the "socialist" elements within the movement, and the fear 
that Nazism would not concentrate upon the common Marxist enemy, 
but instead would turn again upon the government. Frank's superior. 
Police President Mantel, was nonetheless a different man from Pohner. 
The times had changed since 1920. If the police did not move against 
the Nazis with the vigor demonstrated against the Socialists and 
Communists, neither did they show Hitler's movement the degree of 
partiality they had once shown. The withdrawal of the "sheltering 
hand," although not necessarily a hostile gesture, could be seen as 
such. The Nazis frequently chose to view it thusly, and their attacks 

on the political posture of the police increased with each passing 

26 
year. 



195 



In contrast to the multiple assignments of the other desks of 
Department VI, Desk VI/N luid but a single task: the observation of 
the radical political movements. VI/N combined the overt analysis 
of the political press and public political propaganda with a variety 
of covert techniques in gathering its information. The heart of its 
work lay in the cultivation of informers and the placement of under- 
cover agents within the radical political groups. In its capacity 
as the Bavarian central office for political intelligence it also 

drew upon the sources of all police and government agencies in the 

27 
state. 

The head of PDM VI/N during the Pohner years had been 
Friedrich Glaser. The choice of the trusted Glaser to head Vl/N 
underscored the importance of the political intelligence service to 
Pohner. VI/N, perhaps more than any other part of the PDM, was a 
product of the Pohner era and reflected his imprint most deeply. 
During Glaser's tenure as head of VI/N, the political intelligence 
service gave almost all of its attention to the activities of the 
left-wing movements. Not that VI/N lacked information on the right- 
wing groups; Glaser's personal contacts with these groups were 
extensive and intimate. The right-wing movement, however, was an 

ally of the police. VI/N reserved its energies for the enemy on the 

1 r 28 
left. 

This reporting bias persisted after Pohner's departure and 
Glaser's transfer to other dltues within PDM VI. Even after the 



196 



Ministerial decree of October 24, 1922, which made PDM VI/N the 
cenlr.il orfice of L\\v. sLnlewlde politlcnl intelligence service and 
which stressed the need for closer surveillance of the right-wing 
movement, VI/N continued to devote most of its attention to the left. 
Likewise, the Beer Hall Putsch had no real effect. Finally, in 1924, 
the continuing bias of VI/N intelligence reports provoked a sharp 
reprimand from Interior Minister Schweyer. In a letter to Mantel 
on April 17, Schweyer commented that, while the Intelligence reports 
on the leftist movement were "very thorough," the situation reports 
contained "virtually nothing" ( verschwindend wenig ) on right-wing 
activities. Schweyer demanded that VI/N match its thorough coverage 
of the radical left with an equally thorough coverage of the radical 
right. Significantly, in explaining the grounds for his criticism, 
Schweyer called Mantel's attention to the contacts between radical 

right-wing elements and the Communists ( Beriihrungspiinkte mit den 

29 
Kommunisten sind vorhanden ) . This was unquestionably the case, for 

the affinities between the radical opponents of the republic evident 

in such movements as National Bolshevism showed how a common hostility 

30 
could unite otherwise opposed positions. The tendency of Bavarian 

officials to seize upon the socialist elements in the radical right 

movement as evidence of its potential danger, however, demonstrated 

just how thoroughly they associated revolutionary violence with the 

socialist movement. 

Schweyer 's reprimand would be reinforced by his successor, 

Stiitzel, over the course of the following years, and Police President 



197 



Mantel would insist that, regardless of the reporting officer's 
|)ersc)nal poJitlcaL hellers, the situation reports must he haJanced 
and unhiased. 'Ilie Police President might lack the power to cleanse 
the political police force of its right-wing sympathizers, but he would 
not accept once again the experience of being arrested in his own 
city while his subordinates stood idly by. Slowly, after 1924, the 
situation reports produced by PDM VI/N began to reflect this new 
emphasis at the top. 

From 1924 to 1926 these reports appeared on a fortnightly basis. 
They were customarily divided into two main sections, headed 
Linksbewegung and Rechtsbewegung . Included under the former were the 
KPD, the SPD, their related organizations — particularly those of a 
paramilitary nature — and various splinter groups, such as the 
"proletarian freethinkers," the anarcho-syndicalists, and the 
pacifists. This grouping reflected the continuing practice of viewing 
all socialists as part of a single movement. The Rechtsbewegung 
included the many groups which made up the radical right. On one 
occasion, in 1926, the political police even included a report on 
the BVP in the section on the right-wing movement; this oddity, 
however, disappeared as inexplicably as it surfaced. During the 
period from 1923 until 1925, when the Nazi party was under ban, VI/N 
concentrated upon the subterranean efforts to keep the party alive. 
Having been chastised repeatedly about political bias and reminded 
that police speculation did not fall within their province, the 



198 



authors of the situation reports increasingly maintained a profes- 

31 
slon.illy ()1) joe live Lone. 

In another way, however, tlie reports bore testimony to the 

political intelligence service's continued preoccupation with the 

left. The intimate detail these reports contain about secret KPD 

meetings and other activities suggested an intensive effort to 

penetrate every level of the Communist organization with agents and 

informers. In contrast, police interest in the right-wing movement 

was much more limited in scope. The reports concentrate upon two 

problems: the evidence of illegal paramilitary activity and the 

political appearances of Adolf Hitler. Here the fear of another 

putsch emerged clearly, as well as the relative indifference to 

32 
other aspects of right-wing activity. A lesser, but nonetheless 

revealing, indicator of relative police interest was the distribution 

of pages in the reports between coverage of the left and the right. 

In a typical fifteen page report, nine pages were devoted to the 

33 
left, six to the right, a 3:2 ratio. 

In the summer of 1926 the reporting pattern entered its second 

phase. A third section was added to the situation reports, dealing 

with the Republikanische Bewegung — the "Republican Movement." The 

reports on the SPD which had earlier appeared under the leftist 

heading now were shifted to this new category, along with reports on 

other parties loyal to the republic. The very inclusion of such a 

category in a series of reports on the "radical" political movements 



199 



said much about the Bavarian authorities' continued reservations 
concerning; Weimar and its republican institutions. Tlie section on the 
Linksbewegun ^ now focused almost exclusively on the KPD; the cor- 
responding section on tlie right steadily increased its concentration 
upon the NSDAP during the following years. As before, however, 

particular attention was given to revolutionary or socialist tendencies 

34 
within the Nazi camp. 

During this second phase the reports became longer, varying 

between twenty and thirty pages in length. Typically, ten to fourteen 

pages were devoted to the left, three to six pages to the republican 

groups, and seven to ten pages to the right. By the end of the 

decade, however, the reporting pattern began to break up. Reports 

frequently appeared monthly rather than fortnightly, and the length 

of individual reports began to vary wildly. Interest in the "Republican 

Movement" faded, and the reports demonstrated an overwhelming interest 

in the paramilitary formations of the KPD and the NSDAP, equally 

35 
distributed after 1931. At this stage events had started to move too 

fast for the system of situation reporting. PDM VI/N turned its 
efforts increasingly to the preparation of running reports on specific 
problems; the regular situation reports declined in significance. The 
system did not break down complately, but the strains upon it were 
apparent. 

Viewing the work of the five desks of PDM VI as a whole, its 
salient characteristic was a combination of thorough professionalism 



200 



and persistent political bias. These qualities have often been re- 
garclecl as mutually exclusive. But just as General von Seeckt's 
emphasis on a non-political, professional Reichswehr did not preclude 
a profound military influence on the politics of the republic, so too 
did the professionalism of the political police permit them a clear 
political role. To be "above politics" was, after all, the expression 
of a political position. But the political involvement of PDM VI 
went far beyond such passivity. During the Pohner era its sympathies 
for the radical right had been explicit and widely recognized. Until 
the spring of 1924 the continuation of this bias had been the object 
of open concern on the part of the Interior Minister. As late as 
1929 PDM VI was still headed by a man closely identified with the 
most nefarious activities of the Pohner-Frick regime, in the person 
of Friedrich Bernreuther. The political bias of the department would 
become less obvious as the decade wore on. 

Progressively, the position of the political police in Munich 
came to approximate that of the Held government and of Police 
President Mantel. The left was an avowed enemy. The right was, 
depending upon its specific actions, sometimes an enemy and sometimes 
an ally. Among the various radical right groups, the Nazis most 
frequently fell into the "enemy" category. Yet even here careful 
distinctions were made, A 1931 political police report to the 
Ministry of the Interior distinguished between the dangers posed by 
the Nazi party itself and those posed by the party's paramilitary 



201 



auxiliary, the SA. The latter formation, according to the report, 
was clearly dangerous and should be dissolved; tlic danger posed l)y 
tliG party proper was less clear. A parallel memorandum by the 
Ministry of the Interior drew a similar distinction, stating, "Hitler 
has solemnly affirmed and publicly confirmed the legality of the 
party. Doubts based on the evidence cannot be produced against the 
sincerity of his intention." Respecting this distinction, the 
political police would act with increasing vigor — at least in 
Munich — against the SA and against revolutionary or violent gestures 
by the party itself, while allowing all other party activities to go 
relatively undisturbed. Right and left were still treated differently 
by the political police, but the police no longer exceeded the govern- 
ment in its response to the two extremes. 

This, then, was the agency which served as a model for the 
other political police departments which were established in Bavaria 
in the course of the decade. In extending the state political police 
system to the other leading cities of Bavaria, the government followed 
the assumptions inherent in the earlier expansion of the counter- 
espionage and political intelligence central offices. The first stage 
in this program of expansion affected the police in the city of 
Nuremberg. With the creation of the Polizeistelle Nordbayern in 
Bamberg in 1919, the Ministry of the Interior had shown its special 
concern regarding the political situation in that region. But a 
political police office in Bamberg failed to eliminate the special 



202 



problem of Nuremberg. Nuremberg was not only the most Important city 
of northern B.iv.irla, but also tlic center of Industry In the region. 
As sucli, it had a large working class population, strong socialist 
traditions, and, as a legacy of the radical days of 1919, a city 
government dominated by a socialist and republican city council. The 
council, in turn, controlled the municipal police. As was so often 
the case, the presence of a strong socialist movement also called 
forth a strong right-wing response, and Nuremberg from 1919 onward 
became a center of right-wing extremism. If the left looked to the 
city council and the local police for support and protection, the 
right looked to the state government, and particularly to the closest 
representative of state authority, the Provincial Presidium of Middle 
Franconia in nearby Ansbach. Although the establishment of the PSNB 
had fortified the state authority in the region, this could not make 
up for the central government's inability to control the police in 
Nuremberg. 

A wave of working class disturbances in Nuremberg during March 
1920, provided the first pretext for action. Nuremberg's workers, 
like their compatriots throughout Germany, had responded to the Social 
Democratic call for a general strike as a countermove against the 
right-wing Kapp Putsch. The resulting unrest brought anguished 
appeals from rightists in Nuremberg to the Provincial President of 
Middle Franconia. Aroused by these appeals and angered by the apparent 
unwillingness of the Nuremberg police to take strong action against 



203 



the workers, he dispatched his special assistant for police affairs, 
lleliiricli Onrels, to I'csLore order In Nurenil)er;' . Usln;; the .special 
emerj^ency powers of a State Commissioner, Carets quickly asserted his 
authority. The crisis reached its climax on March 17, when a group 
of left-wing sailors armed themselves from Civic Guard stocks and, 
so it was later alleged, tried to take over the city. Gathering a 
force of soldiers and armed right-wing students from the university 
in nearby Erlangen, Gareis smashed the sailors' revolt. At a cost to 
themselves of only a few wounded, Gareis 's forces inflicted heavy 
casualties upon the sailors and upon those unfortunate innocents who 
wandered under their guns. Having accomplished his original mission, 

Gareis remained in Nuremberg to see that the newly restored "order" 

. ^ 37 
was maintained. 

Almost inevitably, his continued presence in the city deepened 

the discord between the state and city governments. Gareis did not 



*For the institution of the "Special Commissioner," see Chapter 1, 
p. 33. Although the ultimate authority in such matters rested with 
the Ministry of the Interior, the Provincial Presidents were often 
given these special powers. In times of emergency the Ministry simply 
named each Provincial President as Special Commissioner for his 
province — in Munich, the Police President was usually named rather 
than the Provincial President of Upper Bavaria — who could then, in 
turn, delegate these powers to designated deputies. 

**By conservative estimate, twenty-three were killed and forty-five 
wounded. According to Gareis 's own figures, thirty-six were killed 
and one hundred wounded. The discrepancy may be accounted for by 
Gareis 's desire to emphasize the vigor and ruthlessness of his actions 
as a means of improving his stature in the eyes of his later superiors 
in the Nazi SS. See the Handwritten curriculum vitae of Heinrich 
Gareis, Nov. 3, 1938, BDC: SS Personalakte Gareis. 



204 



hesitate to invoke his special powers and override the city council's 
authority in police matters. For political sujiport ho allied liinisolf 
with the city's right-wing parties and paramilitary groups, a step 
which served only to exacerbate the existing tensions. At the same 
time he could count upon the strong support of his immediate superior, 
the Provincial President, and upon the sympathetic understanding of 
the conservative bureaucrats at the Ministry of the Interior. 
Complaints from the city council that Gareis's own high-handed 

behavior had provoked the bloodshed of March 17 fell on deaf ears, 

39 
as did all other subsequent complaints to the state authorities. 

These authorities had very different ideas about a permanent solution 

to the problems in Nuremberg. 

The Ministry of the Interior wanted at this time to assume 

permanent control over the police in Nuremberg, to transform the 

municipal police into a police directory along the lines of the PDM; 

indeed the Ministry wished to go further by making the Nuremberg 

police formally a state agency, without even the mixed city and state 

control which marked the situation in Munich. This assumption of 

state control, or Verstaatllchung , was to be the first step in the 

eventual consolidation of all major police forces in the state under 

40 
the Ministry. Two difficulties stood in the way of such a move: 



its cost, and the objections of the Entente powers. Verstaatlichu 



ng 



would mean a greater burden on the state treasury, and the Versailles 
treaty limitations gave the Entente — which in this, as in so many 



205 



other matters relating to the treaty, meant the French — the power 
Lo ri'Vjii I aLe Lhc size and strength of (ieriiiany'.s statu poJlce forces. 
The French officer who headed tlie Military Control Commission, 
General Nollet, had no intention of allowing Germany to evade the 
manpower limitations of the treaty by creating new regiments in the 
guise of police units. Verstaatlichung therefore became an issue in 

the ongoing negotiations between the Reich government and the Control 

41 
Commission over the application of the treaty. 

So long as the issue was unresolved, no new state police 

agencies could be safely established. In the meantime, the Ministry 

of the Interior decided to effect a temporary solution by moving the 

PSNB to Nuremberg. Even this measure had some of the characteristics 

of a diplomatic subterfuge. In actuality Nuremberg would receive 

an entirely new office, and the PSNB would be dissolved. The new 

office, however, would perform the same limited political police 

functions as the PSNB. Should the French object, it could be argued 

that the new agency was not new at all, and that it had merely 

42 
taken the place of what had been a branch of the PDM. The Finance 

Ministry could not object, since the cost of the new office would be 

balanced by the dissolution of the old one in Bamberg. Finally, on 

October 15, 1921, the Staatspolizeiamt Niirnberg-Fiirth (State Police 

43 
Office for Nuremberg and Furth) came into being. 

Despite the strong objections of the city authorities, Gareis 

was entrusted with the leadership of the new office. The city council 



206 



protested veliemently against this decision, but to no avail. Gareis's 
support from the various right-wing groups In Nurcml)erg was too 

strong, and the inriuence of these groups upon the state government 

44 
was too great, to permit another choice. Ironically, a scant two 

weeks after forcing Pohner to resign from the Police Presidency in 

Munich, the new Interior Minister, Schweyer, was compelled to confirm 

a man from the same mold in Nuremberg. 

The creation of the State Police Office meant that, for the time 

being, Nuremberg had two police forces. The municipal police remained 

in the hands of the city government, while Gareis had his own staff 

and political section in the State Police Office, and could call upon 

units of the LaPo for service in the city. The conflict over the 

police in Nuremberg led the opposition to Gareis. Luppe was a 

liberal democrat and a strong supporter of the Republic. Although 

not himself a socialist, he had proven capable of working with the 

socialists, and had also demonstrated clearly his hostility to the 

radical right. This stance made him an object of suspicion to many 

in the city administration — although the political leadership of 

the city was moderate or leftist, the career civil service positions 

were held mostly by conservatives — and an object of hatred to the 

right. In November 1922, Luppe for the first time came into open 

conflict with the newly emergent radical right-wing leader, Julius 

Streicher. Six months later this conflict became an open, no-holds- 

45 
barred fight to the deatli. 



207 



The escalation of this conflict came as a result of the events 
of May 1, 1923, In NurcMiiberg . The rumors of a National Socialist 
putscli which had shaken Munich surfaced in northern Bavaria as well. 
Acting upon information supplied by the political intelligence service 
of the SPD, Luppe ordered the city police to confiscate a large 
cache of weapons belonging to the National Socialists. To compound 
his offense, Luppe then contacted the Reichswehrminister in Berlin, 
informed him of the putsch rumors, and asked that he prepare army 
unxts to intervene against the threat. 

The putsch did not take place as feared, but Luppe 's actions 
had gone too far for both the nationalists in Nuremberg and the state 
government. Streicher and other nationalist leaders condemned the 
confiscation of weapons and the appeal to Berlin as treason, and 
called for the state government to expel Luppe from office and deport 
him from Bavaria, Streicher did not get his wish — he would have to 
wait until March 1933, for his final reckoning with Luppe — but the 
state government complied with the rightist demands to the extent 
of introducing disciplinary proceedings against Luppe. In the summer 
of 1923 the Munich authorities could not tolerate either a confiscation 
of rightist weapons — which had brought the cache to the attention 
of the French — or an appeal over their own heads to Berlin. 

Although Luppe managed to survive the inquiry into his actions, 
he had won the lasting enmity of the Bavarian government. Whatever 
doubts the government may have entertained about Gareis, it needed 



208 



him in Nuremberg as a counterweight to Luppe's dangerous republican- 
Jsin. AnotliLT d(.'velc)|)iiicnl; had cleared the oljstaclea to making 
Gareis's position permanent. In July 1922, the negotiations between 
the Foreign Ministry in Berlin and the Military Control Commission 
had yielded an agreement on the future strength of the state police 
in Germany. In general, only those police forces which had been 
under the central control of the state governments in 1913 could remain 
under state control. General Nollet, however, authorized a list of 
twenty-two exceptions to this rule. Most of the municipal police 

forces listed were in Prussia, but the French did authorize the 

49 
Verstaatlichung of one such force in Bavaria, the one in Nuremberg. 

At first the state government chose not to act upon this authorization, 

but after the events of May 1, 1923, the step could no longer be 

delayed. To the applause of Streicher and the other nationalists, 

the government elevated the State Police Office to the status of a 

Police Directory, thereby taking the minicipal police out of Luppe's 

control and placing it in the hands of Gareis. On November 1, 1923, 

the Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Furth began operations. 

The new organization, customarily referred to by the initials 

PDN-F, had the same overall mission as its Munich prototype and 

resembled the PDM in its general structure. There were, however, 

organizational differences. In thp PDN-F the political police 

received the designation Department II. Department II performed most 

of the same functions as Department VI in Munich, but on a much smaller 



209 



scale and without the highly refined internal subdivisions. In 1923 
only t"''tMity-rour officers worked full time for tlie political police 
in Nuremberg, only a fraction of the total in Munlcli. Even as late 
as 1933 the number had risen only to approximately sixty, at a time 
when PDM VI had over one hundred and thirty officers. Aside from 
the difference in size, the most obvious difference between the two 
organizations was that Department II in Nuremberg lacked its own 
executive section. Instead, the investigation of actual political 
crimes and the arrest of political criminals was carried out by a 

special political desk within the regular criminal police department. 

52 
In practice, however, this separation had little significance. The 

primary task cf the political department proper was the gathering of 

political intelligence by the usual overt and covert means and the 

preparation of political situation reports for northern Bavaria. Under 

the leadership of Friedrich Schachinger, Gareis's deputy and the formal 

head of the political police. Department II carried out this mission 

as efficiently and effectively for its sphere of responsibility as 

53 
the much larger Munich organization. 

The most important difference between Munich and Nuremberg lay 
in the political biases of the two political departments. Whereas 
the Munich police after 1923 merely sympathized strongly with the 
right, the Nuremberg police actively supported it. The difference 
was illustrated in the situation reports produced by the two depart- 
ments and attested by the approval of such personages as Streicher 



210 



and Ernst Rohm. After bestowing his praise upon Garels and 
Scliaclilnger la the most ^J owing terms, Kohm compared them with two 
other favorites, Pohner and Frick — he described the four men as a 
"pair of twins." The comparison was apt, and, for the history of 
the political police in Ravflria, full of portent. For if the spirit 
of Pohner and Frick lived on in Munich after their departure from 
the police administration, then their virtual reincarnations shaped 
the destiny of the police in Nuremberg. 

With the Verstaatlichung of the Nuremberg police accomplished, 
the most important objective of the state government in this area 
had been achieved. The extension of this process to the other major 
cities of Bavaria now moved to the head of the agenda. Of these, the 
most important was Wurzburg. Beginning in January 1923, the leaders 
of the Working Coalition of the Patriotic Associations in Wurzburg — 
the local alliance of right-wing nationalist groups — made repeated 
representations to the state government concerning what it regarded 
as "leftist" tendencies within the municipal police force and the 
dire influence exerted upon this body by the moderate, republican 
council. The police were accused of showing too much tolerance to 
the left, of showing too little sympathy for the right, particularly 
the National Socialists, and, significantly, of being too friendly 
to the city's Jewish population. For these reasons, insisted the 
right-wing leadership, an immediate Verstaatlichung was essential. 

The government in Munich was Inclined to agree, but wanted more 
information about the situation in Wurzburg before taking a decisive 



211 



step. It turned to its own sources within the city, which were 
excellent. In addition to the Wurzburg office of the Ktillwny 
Surveillance Service, st.irfed with officers of the Munich polltlcnl 
police, the government could rely upon a skilled undercover agent in 
the city. Eduard Seubert, a former senior officer of PDM Via, had 
been promoted to the position of State Finance Inspector in Wiirzburg. 
Seubert combined the performance of his new duties in the finance 
office with the preparation of confidential reports on the political 
situation in Wurzburg, which he filed with Police Director Gareis in 
Nuremberg. On February 1, 1924, Seubert reported to Gareis on the 
political position of the Wurzburg police. Singling out three senior 
police officers for special attention, he described them as being 
dangerous left-wing sympathizers. He added that all three were 
suspected of having misused their official position for personal gain. 
Finally, he stressed that all three had close ties with the Jewish 
community. Instead of making life difficult for Jewish refugees 
from Russia and the newly-created states of eastern Europe, the most 
senior of the three officers had given comfort to these unfortunates — 
evidently a damning indictment in Seubert 's view. Seubert 's report 



*Seubert's work in connection with the Hartung case is discussed in 
Chapter 2. 

**The presence of these " Ostjuden " was a lively issue in Bavaria. In 
1919 Pohner had proposed the mass deportation of the Jewish refugees, 
a proposal which was not, however, carried out by the government. 



212 



did not end with these professional matters, but also included material 
iilnnit the tliree officers' private affairs and sexual relationships. 
It was, by any standards, an ugly example of political esplonaRe. 
Gareis passed it along to the Ministry of the Interior with an 
accompanying note of praise for Seubert's work and the recommendation 
that, in the event of the Verstaatlichung of the police in Wurzburg, 
Seubert should be rewarded with a position in the new police agency. 

On March 7, 192A, two weeks after the receipt of Seubert's 
report at the Ministry of the Interior, the cabinet met to consider 
the question of Verstaatlichung of the police in Wurzburg and other 
Bavarian cities. At this meeting Interior Minister Schweyer 
characterized the state's takeover of the police in Nuremberg as a 
great success, and urged that the government take similar steps in 
the remaining major cities. Minister President Knilling agreed. 
Schweyer contended that the financial obstacles to the proposed 
measure could be overcome and that the objections of the Military 
Control Commission to this unauthorized expansion of control of the 
police could, in one way or another, be evaded. The Finance Minister, 
however, expressed reservations. While granting that the political 
situation was serious, particularly from the Communist side, he 
argued that the state could not bear the additional expense. Moreover, 
in his view the revolutionary danger could not proceed from any area 
other than the two largest cities, Munich and Nuremberg. Since the 
police in these two cities were already under effective state control, 

CO 

nothing else needed to be done. 



213 



The views of the Finance Minister prevailed. Shortly afterward 
the Knillin;', >>,nvernniLMU was replaced by that of Ileinrlch Held, and 
the relaxation of political tension in the state reduced the urgency 
of the issue. The government proceeded deliberately, and it was not 
until April 1, 1929 that a ministerial decree proclaimed the 

Verstaatlichung of the police in Augsburg, Hof, Regensburg, and 

59 
Wurzburg. In Hof, as in Wurzburg, the issue had been highly 

politicized; in Augsburg and Regensburg it had been less controversial, 

largely because of the less fractious nature of local politics in 

these two cities. The decree of April 1, 1929, represented the 

fulfillment of the Verstaatlichung policy enunciated in 1923. The 

1925 Locarno treaty had reduced the rigor of the Military Control 

Commission's efforts, and the steady improvement in the overall 

economic situation had improved the state government's financial 

61 
position. These developments made possible the extension of state 

control over the police. 

The four new Polizeidirektionen followed the organizational 

model established in Munich and Nuremberg. Officers from the PDM 

were promoted to head the Police Directories in Wurzburg and 

Regensburg; in the latter case, the new Police Director was 

Friedrich Bernreuther, until that time the head of PDM VI. One of 

Gareis's senior officers at the PDN-F also participated in the actual 

^ . r- 1 r- 63 

organization of the four new agencies. Thus, the PDM and the PDN-F 
worked their influence ever more deeply into the fabric of Bavarian 
police administration. 



214 



TliG evacuation of Allied occupation forces from the Rhine 
I'a laL InaLf in I'JK) led Lo the completion of the stale security system. 
The liavnrlan j^overnment set up I'olice Directories in Kaisers I autern 
and Ludwigshaf en, and State Police Offices in Speyer and 

Zweibrucken. With this final step, the police in all the major 

* 
cities of Bavaria had come under direct state control. The new 

Police Directories and the State Police Offices, each with its own 

political police section, were fully integrated into the statewide 

political networks created in 1922 and 1923. Coupled with the LaPo 

and the likewise state-controlled rural gendarmerie, these new 

agencies brought the police in the state into the hands of the Munich 

government. The consolidation process begun with Pohner's and Prick's 

proposal for the centralization of the political police had been 

completed. 



*The state required that each city contribute 50% of the upkeep of the 
police, on the grounds that each served the locality as well as the 
state. Police officers, however, were state officials, and responsible 
only to the central government. The same was true of the PDM, although 
its juridicially anomalous position between city and state continued 
until 1933. No one doubted that the PDM was the agent of the state 
and not the city government. 



215 



Notes 

This summary of events from the end of the Beer Hall Putscli is 
l)ascd upon the followlnj', sources: I'ridham, 11 [tier's Rise to Power, 
pp. 12-20; Fenske, Konscrvativismus und Kechtsradikalismus , pp. 242- 
245; Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch , pp. 530-554. 

2 
The negotiations leading to the formation of the Held government 

are described in detail in Fenske, KonseT~vativismus und Kechtsradi- 
kalismus , pp. 243-244. 

3 
Held's attitude toward the left is discussed in Pridham, Hitler's 

Rise to Power , pp. 20-21. The analysis of the BVP ' s 1924 electoral 

propaganda is from Fenske, Konservativismus und Kechtsradikalismus , p. 

309, The characterization of Georg von Vollmar and the Bavarian SPD 

is from Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria , pp. 14-21, As Mitchell points 

out, from the 1890 's onward, the Bavarian SPD had disavowed the radical 

approach in favor of a "peaceful advance of the Socialist cause," This 

was also the party's policy in 1918-1919 and thereafter. 

Held's statement is cited in Fenske, Konservativismus un d 
Kechtsradikalismus , p, 309. It might be argued in Held's behalf 
that in making this statement he only gave expression to the temper 
of the times and that the reflexive anti-Semitism so characteristic 
of the era did not necessarily imply support for the Jewish persecution 
which would later come in Germany. Held's statement, nonetheless, 
contrasts badly with the courageous condemnation of anti-Semitism 
made by Lerchenfeld and with the strong and consistent stand taken 
against anti-Semitism by Auer and the Bavarian SPD. For this stand, 
see Donald L. Niewyk, Socialist, Anti-Semite, and Jew: German Social 
Democracy Confront s the Problem of Anti-Semitism, 1918-1933, pp. 35, 
40, 41, 48, 58, 97, 102, 107-108, 166, 208. 

Verhandlungen des Bayerischen Landtags, Stenographische Berichte 
und Beilagen , Vol. VII (Munich, 1922/1923), pp. 68, 171-182. 

r 

Pridham analyzes this problem of ambivalence in some detail. In 
his chapter on the NSDAP and the Catholic voter he points out the 
various strategems through which the Nazis attempted to mask the 
differences between their own position and that of the Church. He 
further points out how the Nazis strong anti-leftist posture won them 
favor with some Bavarian Catholics (p. 147). Pridham notes that 
Faulhaber's criticisms of the republic and of parliamentary democracy, 



216 



and his tendency to ignore the differences between Socialism and 
Communism generated confusion within the ranks of Catholic voters. 
In I't-Idham's own word.s, "It was small wonder that less sophisticated 
Catholics, unversed in doctrinal matters, should have taken I'aulliaher ' s 
statements amiss and failed to see the subtleties of his attitude." 
(p. 154). Cardinal Faulhaber was an admirable man, a strong critic 
of anti-Semitism, and an important figure in the later resistance to 
Nazism. The point here is not to minimize the differences between 
the Church and the radical right, particularly the Nazis, nor to 
question the basic hostility of figures such as Faulhaber to Hitler. 
The point is instead that confusion frequently prevailed on this 
issue, a confusion which the Nazis could exploit to make the dif- 
ferences between their party and the Church appear less grave. 
Pridham clearly demonstrates this confusion, as does James Donohoe, a 
leading student of the Catholic opposition to Hitler. Pridham also 
repeatedly demonstrates the ambivalence of the BVP leadership toward 
the radical right. The religious and states' rights issues were 
Important sources of disagreement between the BVP and the radical 
right, but there was also common ground on the questions of hostility 
to the republic and anti-leftist sentiment — the latter of particular 
importance in shaping the attitudes of political policemen, whose 
work involved them intimately in the war against the left. The issue, 
it must be stressed again, is that of recreating a political milieu and 
of demonstrating that the political milieu in Bavaria during the 
years 1919-1933 was one which permitted large numbers of state 
servants, policemen and others, to entertain a sympathetic attitude 
toward the radical right. See Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Pow er, pp. 146- 
183, 192-195; James Donohoe, Hitler's Conservative Opponents in 
Bavaria, 1930-1945 (Leiden, 1961), pp. 28-34. 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , pp. 192-195. 

o 

The procedure for handling cases within Via is described by 
the deputy head of Via during the years 1920-1923, Eduard Seubert. 
See Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 
308Id/3. An example of this procedure is given in a PDM internal 
memorandum, July 17, 1929, RA 57809. The case from Hamburg is dis- 
cussed in Public Prosecutor in Passau to M Inn, Aug, 2, 1928, M Inn 
71784. The Communist sympathizer in question, a certain Hans Knodn, 
had worked with Hitler in the army's 1919 political indoctrination 
course and was until 1926 a supporter of the Nazis. Among Knodn's 
papers the police found a letter from Hitler describing Knodn as one 
of "the first NSDAP members" and praising his patriotism. Knodn 
drifted to the left after breaking with Hitler. One observes here 
once again the confusing shifts so typical of the politics of the time. 



217 



9 
The best source for the Pohner case and for the police response 

to the rumors of his assassination is the collection of police files 

on the case in HA 1595-1600. Ironically, the criminal police officer 

first charged with investigation of the circumstances of the accident 

was Carl von Merz, the man who had come into conflict with Pohner 

over the handling of the Hartung case. Merz also provides a general 

statement on the practice of sharing cases between the political and 

criminal police. See Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, 

StAnw. Mil. I 3081d/3. An example of how overwork might lead to the 

return of a political case to the criminal police is recorded in 

Schutzmannschaf t Abt. I to the Police President, July 20, 1923, 

HA 67/1489. 

For the various features of French espionage in Bavaria, see 
RKO to PDM, May 16, 1923 and M Inn to RKO, April 10, 1923, both in 
MA 100 446b. See also Indictment in the trial of Heinrich Bassler 
for treason, December 29, 1925, M Inn 71784. 

The Darmont case is described in a summary report by the PDM 
VIb Z.St., Feb. 22, 1924, Reg. v. Mfr. , Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/201. 
All references to this case are taken from this report. 

12 

See, for example, the collection of M Inn documents on Czech 

espionage in M Inn 71793. 

13 

The two main collections of material concerning the counter- 
espionage course are the Ministry of the Interior course files — M 
Inn 71791 — and those of the PDM itself — Gestapo 10. 

14 

PDM internal directive, January 30, 1919, M Inn 71794. 

See the correspondence between M Inn and the Munich office 
of the Reich Transport Ministry on this subject for the years 1921- 
1929 in M Inn 71794 and M Inn 71795. 

Ibid. 

17 

An example is the 1931 Jennuwein case involving a suspected 

Communist attempt to suborn a Reichswehr soldier. See the PDM VIb 

reports on the case, Aug. 24-Oct. 19, 1931, Gestapo 10. 

1 Q 

The Knodn case cited under note 5 above provides an example 
of this overlap between Via and VIb. 



218 



19 

The duties of PDM Vic are spelled out in the 1932 PDM Table of 

Orj',nn i zntion in M Tnn 71881. 

l''or one of these battles, see tlie PDM VTd internal reports for 
Sept. 24, 1923 and Oct. 6, 1923 in Gestapo 28. 

21 

PDM to the Sozialdemokratische Verein Munchens , June 19, 1923, 

Gestapo 28; PDM to M Inn, Aug. 27, 1923, MA 100 425. See also the 

list of PDM Versammlungsverbote for 1923 in RA 57805. 

22 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , pp. 41-42. D. C. Watt, "Die 

Bayerischen Bemuhungen urn die Ausweisung Hitlers, 1924," in 

Viertel.jahreshef te fur Zeitgeschichte , pp. 270-280, 6 (1958), is 

inadvertantly misleading on the question of police attitudes toward 

Hitler in the post-putsch period. Watt uses as a shorthand form the 

term "police" to describe the efforts in support of Hitler's expulsion 

emanating from the PDM. It would be more accurate to say "Police 

President Mantel" instead, since the efforts to expel Hitler reflected 

Mantel's own position much more clearly than that of his political 

department under Bernreuther. Compare the Bavarian documents on the 

case in MA 100 427. 

23 

The account of the meeting with Frank on the following pages 

is based upon the detailed report filed by the three Nazi delegates 

with the Munich NSDAP headquarters on Oct. 27, 1925. The report may 

be found in HA 4/89. 

24 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , p. 42. 

25 

In addition to the statements by Schaffer and Schweyer cited 

above, see the similar statement by former Minister President Knilling 

cited in Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus , p. 308. 

9 fi 

Nazi criticisms of the police were faithfully recorded by the 

police themselves and reproduced in the fortnightly situation reports 

produced by PDM VI/N. These reports for the period June 1924 to 

Dec. 1932 are collected in MA 101 235/1-3. Other materials on the 

relationship between the police and the NSDAP which bear on this issue 

may be found in MA 100 425 and MA 100 426. 

27 

For the central office role of PDM VI/N, see Chapter 3, pp. 127- 

137. 



219 



O Q 

For the pattern of ties between the political police and the 
rndicnl rij'Jit, particularly those of Hlasor and VT/N, sec Cliaptor 2, 
pp. 96-100. 

29 

M Tnn to the Police President in Munich and the Police Director 

in Nuremberg, April 17, 1924, Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228. 

30 

The most useful study of this phenomenon is Otto-Ernst 

Schiiddekopf, Nationalbolschewismus in Deutschland, 1918-1933 (Frankfurt, 
1972). This work is a revised and enlarged version of Schiiddekopf ' s 
earlier Linke Leute von rechts . For leftist tendencies within 
National Socialism, see Max H. Kele, Nazis and Workers (Chapel Hill, 
1972.) 

31 

All conclusions on the content and biases of the political 

situation reports are based upon a close reading of the reports 

themselves. For the period 1924-1926, see PDM Political Situation 

Reports, June 1924 to June 1926, MA 101 235/1-2. 

32 

Ibid. 

33 

Ibid. 

34 

PDM Political Situation Reports, June 1926-Dec. 1932, MA 101 

235/2-3. 

Ibid. 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , pp. 254-258. The quotation is 
from p. 256. Pridham professes a certain puzzlement at the inef- 
fectual position of the BVP. A comparison of Pridham' s arguments 
with the remarks of Interior Minister Stiitzel about his colleagues' 
"soft" position versus the Nazis' reduces this puzzlement. See, 
Interior Minister Stiitzel to Dr. Georg Heim, Dec. 18, 1931, MA 100 425. 

37 

Rainer Hambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP in Mittel- und 

Oberfrank en, 1925 -1933 (Nuremberg, 1976), pp. 12-13, 40-41; Prov. 

President of Middle Franconla to M Inn, April 16, 1920, M Inn 71879; 

Handwritten curriculum vitae of Heinrich Carols, Nov. 3, 1938, BDC: 

SS Personalakte Gareis; Hofmann, Der Hitlerputsch , p. 46. 

38 

naml)rc'clit, Der Aufstieg der NSDA P, pp. 41-43. 



220 



39 

Ibid. See also the minutes of the Bavarian cabinet meeting 

of March 7, 192A, MA 100 A51 . 

40 

Minutes of the Bavarian cabinet meeting of March 7, 1924, MA 100 

451. The various collections of documents concerning Verstantlicliung 

make it clear that the policy was long thought out, and rested upon 

conclusions drawn at the beginning of the post-war era. See for the 

Ministry of the Interior the following: M Inn 71879, 71883, 71884, 

71887, 71888, 71891, 71892, 71893, 71894, 71895, 71896; for the 

State Chancellery: MA 100 451; for the Provincial Government of 

Middle Franconia: Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/377 and 11/378; 

and for the Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Fiirth : PDN-F 108/2 and PDN-F 

109. 

41 

See the correspondence between the Entente Military Control 

Commission and the Reich Foreign Ministry for 1920-1922 in BAK 

R43I/2693. 

42 

For the identity of function between the PSNB and the State 

Police Office Nuremberg-Fiirth, see State Police Office Nuremberg- 

Fijrth to the Prov. President of Lower Franconia, March 23, 1922, 

PDN-F 338; for similar evasions of Versailles treaty limitations 

by the Bavarian government at this time with respect to the LaPo, 

see Schwarze, Die bayerische Polizel , pp. 54-56; for the government's 

willingness to evade these restrictions in general, see the minutes 

of the Bavarian cabinet meeting of March 7, 1924, MA 100 451. 

43 

The text of the decree, published in the Gesetz- u. Verord- 

nungsblatt on Oct. 13, 1921, may be found in M Inn 71879. 

44 

Hambrecht, Der Aufstieg der NSDAP , pp. 41-43. 

^^Ibid, pp. 40-43. 

Ibid. 

Ibid. 

48 

Interior Minister Schweyer s retrospective approval of Garels 

found expression in the March 1924 cabinet discussion of Verstaat- 

lichung . See the minutes of the Bavarian cabinet meeting of March 7, 



221 



1924, MA 100 451. Hambrecht argues that Carets 's candidature was 
pushed through by local right-wiiiR groups over the objections of the 
Interior Minister. See Hambrecht, Per Aufstleg der NSDAP , |). 42. 

49 

General Nollet to the peace treaty section of tlie Reich 

Foreign Ministry, July 11, 1922, BAK R43I/2693, 

Hambrecht, Der Aufstleg der NSDAP , p. 42. 

For the organization and strength of the new PDN-F, see M Inn 
to State Police Office Nuremberg-Fiirth, May 11, 1923, PDN-F 108/2. 
For its strength in 1933, see the 1933 PDN-F Table of Organization, 
PDN-F 170. For the strength of PDM VI in 1933, see M Inn to Reich 
Ministry of the Interior, Feb. 13, 1935, M Inn 71966. 

52 

Compare M Inn to State Police Office Nuremberg-Furth, May 

11, 1923, PDN-F 108/2 with PDN-F internal directive 377/1, "Raum- 

bedarf," 1923, PDN-F 486. 

53 

Utho Grieser, Himmler's Mann in Nurnberg: Der Fall Benno 

Martin (Nuremberg, 1974), pp. 1-7. 

54 .. 

Rohra's remarks are cited in ibid, p. 2. 

" Arbeitsgemeinschaf t vaterlandische Verbande " to M Inn, 
January 10, 1923, M Inn 71888. Essentially the same accusations are 
repeated by this group to M Inn in a second letter, April 1, 1923, 
M Inn 71888. 

Railway Surveillance Service Wiirzburg to PDM VI, Nov. 13, 1923, 
M Inn 71888; Eduard Seubert to PDN-F/II, Feb. 1, 1924, M Inn 71888. 

PDN-F to M Inn, Feb. 14, 1924, M Inn 71888, 

CO 

Minutes of the Bavarian cabinet meeting of March 7, 1924, 
MA 100 451. 

59 

The text of the decree is reproduced in an M Inn internal 

memorandum of March 11, 1930, M Inn 71966. 

See District Office Hof to Prov. President of Upper Franconia, 
Aug. 7, 1928, M Inn 71892. Compare, in general, the correspondence on 



222 



Verstaatllchung in Hof in M Inn 71892 with that concerning Augsburg in 
M Inn 71887 and Regensburg in M Inn 71891. 

I'or Llic evolution of policy clurJnp, the years 1923-1929, sec 
M Inn 71887, 71888, 71891, 71892. 

M Inn to PDM, March 9, 1929, M Inn 71888. 

M Inn to the Police President, Nuremberg, Oct. 8, 1930, M Inn 
71893. 

64 

M Inn to the Chamber of Justice, Government of the Rhine 

Palatinate, March 24, 1930, M Inn 71893. 



CHAPTER 5 
THE WAY TO THE GESTAPO, ly 30-1936 



On November 30, 1931, Dr. Georg Helm wrote to Interior Minister 
Karl Stutzel to complain about the deterioration of public order in 
Helm's home city of Regensburg. The police, in Helm's view, had 
lost control of the situation. Worse, they appeared indifferent to 
the Nazi threat. Several weeks later Stutzel responded with a letter 
in which he unburdened himself of his own worries on this subject. 
He agreed v.'ith Helm about the behavior of many police officers in 
the struggle against National Socialism, describing it as "spineless" 
and "in every way lamentable." As far as the incidents in Regensburg 
were concerned, he had expressed his displeasure already to the 
Police Director there, Friedrich Bernreuther. Stutzel then moved from 
the specific problem in Regensburg to the more general question of the 
relations between civil servants and the Nazis throughout the state. 
Not only had public officials at all levels failed to act against 
the Nazis, they had instead worked for the party, a posture Stutzel 
described as "Impudent." How, he asked Helm., could one expect a 
simple policeman to take strong action against the Nazis, when 
judges, prosecutors, and other public servants did everything they 
could to help the Nazis? Stutzel complained bitterly about the 
judicial administration in particular, remarking that the police could 



223 



Ilk 



scarcely muster any enthusiasm for steps to control the Nazi movement, 
wlien the jud^'^y would then turn around and acquit Nazi offenders or, 
at most, !;ive them only "absurdly light" sentences. 

The responsibility for this deplorable state of affairs lay, 
according to Stutzel, within the ranks of his own party, the BVP. 
He concluded to Heim: 



Throughout the entire state the counter measures of 
our party against the National Socialists have 
been absolutely inadequate. I am thankful that 
you have been an exception to this and have given 
me your support. But this is not nearly enough 
as long as the timid — one could call it something 
else — behavior of most of our party friends 
continues. 



Through bitter experience Stutzel had learned the lesson of his 
predecessor in office, Franz Schweyer: although the BVP might disagree 
with the Nazis and occasionally be moved to support action against 
them, this support was rarely consistent or forceful enough," In 
reading Stutzel 's letter Heim could not have helped but remark upon 
the Interior Minister's anger and his anguish. Confronted with a 
breakdown of authority and plagued by a lack of assistance from his 
party and his government colleagues, the Interior Minister himself 
must have felt much like the simple policeman he described in his 
letter. 

The problem facing Stutzel had been building for years, indeed 
since the dark days of 1919. Pohner and Frick had been granted a 



225 



unique opportunity in the aftermath of the Soviet Republic to reshape 
Liu- I'DM [n Ihi'Ir own lni.i|',t'. To l)c sure, no wliolesalc |)iir>',t> ol i)oJJi(.' 
officers had been made at that time, but then, no such purge had been 
necessary. During the First World War many police officers had been 
called into military service and, by 1918, the PDM was seriously under 
its established strength. Many of the policemen who remained were 
overage and on the verge of retirement. The successive revolutionary 
governments in 1918 and 1919 did little more than fill the post of 
Police President with their own candidates and create various non- 
professional supplements, usually in the form of militias, to the 
enfeebled police force. With the accession of Pohner the leftist 
functionaries were removed from the senior positions in the PDM and 
the remnants of the revolutionary militias dissolved. The ranks of 
the police were refilled with officers returning from military service, 
with new appointees, also frequently veterans, and with senior 
officers transferred from outside Munich. No purge had taken place, 
but the PDM after 1919 bore the stamp of Ernst Pohner. 

The events of 1923 had demonstrated the consequences of these 
developments. In March 1924, Minister President Knilling had called 
for a wholesale purge ( eine griindliche Sauberung ) at the PDM, to 
efface the effects of the Pohner years. But as Police President 
Mantel ruefully responded, no such wholesale measures could be taken; 
the most that was achieved was the removal of Frick and a handful of 
minor officers, who had made themselves liable for legal action by their 



226 



behavior during the putsch. The PDM, and very particularly the 
liolitical de|iartnient under Bcrnreutlicr , rcniained essentially unclianj'.cd, 

Tlie process of Vcrstaatliclning helped extend this baleFul 
influence throughout the entire state. The special role of PDM VI 
within the political police system had already given it an inordinate 
influence over political police developments in other parts of 
Bavaria. Through the decrees of October 24, 1922 and March 16, 1923, 
its statewide role was assured. The operations of the department's 
railway surveillance service, the EuD, fortified this powerful 
position, and the close contacts with other police organizations 
fostered by PDM VIb's counterespionage courses further extended the 
influence of the Munich force. With Verstaatlichung , this already 
substantial influence both broadened and deepened. Typically, 
Verstaatlichung in a given city meant the takeover of most of that 
city's original municipal police force into state service. The 
process, however, allowed for the screening of all municipal police 
officers and the elimination of those who were overage or politically 
unreliable. The determination of political reliability was largely 
the personal decision of the newly-appointed police director. In 
Wurzburg this was Hermann Eder, in Ludwigshafen, Walter Antz, and in 
Regensburg, Friedrich Bernreuther — all products of the PDM. In 
other cities, officers from the PDM or the PDN-F served in an advisory 
capacity during the process of Vers taatlichung . 

The only state police agency which evolved largely independently 
of the PDM's influence was the PDN-F. There, however, the presence of 



227 



Heinrich Gareis and Friedrich Schachinger in the two senior positions 
ensured that police developments in Nuremberg followed a pattern 
wliich paralleled the developments in Munich under Pohner and Prick. 
Indeed, the influence of Gareis and Schachinger was even deeper and 
longer-lasting because they remained in office long after the 
departure of Pohner and Frick from the police system. After PDM VI, 
the political department in Nuremberg had the most powerful position 
in the statewide political police system, and it too helped to mold 

Q 

the other state police offices as they were created. The inter- 
locking pattern of influence, both organizational and personal, which 
emanated from PDM VI and PDN-F/II generated a distinct right-wing 
bias throughout the entire political police system. 

The unwillingness of the Bavarian authorities to follow the lead 
of such states as Prussia and Baden in taking a strong line against 

Nazi sympathizers within the civil service helped perpetuate the 

9 
pattern of political bias. The proximate source of Stutzel's 

outburst to Heim had been the behavior of the police in Regensburg 

in the face of Nazi disturbances. Yet, in approving Bernreuther 's 

appointment as Police Director in Regensburg, the state government 

gave responsibility for the police in that city to a man well-known 

for his ties to the radical right, a man implicated in highly 

questionable political activities from the very beginning of his 

, . 10 

police career. Similarly, in spite of express warnings concerning 

the dangerous implications of Gareis's political activities, the 



228 



government had chosen to tolerate his continued role as head of the 
I'DN-F. Stut/.ol himscir had sometimes defended Cards against these 
criticisms. Save for the occasional reprimand, he had allowed 
Gareis to shape police policy in Nuremberg according to the latter 's 
own well-known political sympathies. The Nazi party had eventually 
settled upon Nuremberg as the site of its annual rallies at least 

partly because it could rely upon the goodwill and the understanding 

12 
of the PDN-F. The Nazi party leader in Nuremberg, Julius Streicher, 

had been one of Gareis's strongest supporters since 1921; Streicher 

also had close ties with subordinate members of the political department 

13 
at the PDN-F. By almost any standard Helnrich Gareis belonged 

among the public servants condemned by Stiitzel for their attitude 

toward Nazism. 

Gareis, nonetheless, knew how to protect himself and his 

subordinates. Unlike Pohner, he would not challenge his superiors 

in the Ministry of the Interior directly. Although unquestionably 

sympathetic to the aims of the 1923 putsch, he successfully avoided 

committing himself before seeing if it would fail. His subordinates 

also benefited from Gareis's caution. The man who headed the political 

intelligence service in PDN-F/II was Ottomar Otto, who resembled 

Friedrich Glaser at PDM VI in many important respects. Each performed 

corresponding duties within their respective police agencies; each 

involved himself deeply in radical right-wing activities. Otto had 

studied law before serving in the army during the war and, as a 



229 



volunteer, in the repression of the Munich Soviet Republic. In 1921 
lie bv^iin his association wltli Garels in Nuremberg, and in 1923 lie 
took over tlie political intelligence section, the central office for 
northern Bavaria, in PDN-F/II. Otto used this position to supply 
official secrets to the radical right organizations. When his 
behavior came to the attention of the Ministry of the Interior, it 
ordered his dismissal. This should not have been difficult to carry 
out, for, at the time of the order. Otto was not yet a tenured civil 
servant. Gareis, however, did not carry out the order, dragging his 
feet until the matter was ultimately forgotten by the Ministry. Otto, 
instead, would later receive his civil service tenure and remained 
as head of the political intelligence service until moving onto a 
better position after 1933. 

Until the Depression undermined economic stability and initiated 
a resurgence of radical leftist and rightist strength, the problem 
of political bias within the political police system did not appear 
to be acute. But as political tensions began to mount once again, 
the issue of political reliability in the civil service became more 
pressing. By 1931 both Stutzel and Held had recognized the problem. 
Much of the damage, unfortunately, had already been done, and the 
government was no longer in a position to take strong action to 
retrieve the situation. In 1930 the Peasants' League had withdrawn 
from the Held coalition, depriving the government of its Landtag 
majority and making the BVP even more dependent on the cooperation of 



230 



the more decidedly right-wing DNVP. The strength of the Nazi movement 
WHS growing througliout the state, particularly in those Protestant 
regions which had traditionally supported the DNVP. In these 
circumstances an attempt to purge the civil service in general, or 
the political police in particular, would invite serious political 
difficulties. Moreover, so long as the legal status of the Nazi party 
could not be effectively challenged, disciplinary proceedings against 
civil servants based upon the issue of ties to Nazism had little 
outlook for success. 

The government's belated recognition of the problem resulted from 
Hitler's disarming tactics and the BVP leadership's own continuing 
ambivalence about the nature of the Nazi threat. By following a 
legal, parliamentary course, the Nazis camouflaged their own radical 
goals and staked out a claim as a legitimate parliamentary party. 
The fact that the Nazis continued to condemn the republican system 
while pursuing the legal course in no way eased confusion about the 
party's ultimate goals. Many other parties, including both the BVP and 

the DNVP, had made political capital of their differences with the 

18 
constitutional structure and the party system of the republic. 

Moreover, it was difficult to determine just who spoke for the Nazi 

movement in Bavaria. Discussing possible changes in the cabinet 

coalition in 1928, Heinrich Held had expressed the thought that the 

Nazis might ultimately become suitable coalition partners. The leader 

of the Nationa] Socialist Lan dtag delegation, Rudolf Buttman, was. In 



231 



Held's view, "an absolutely respectable man, with whom one could work 
well." 'I'lie probJem was that there were other Nazis — Held mentioned 

Esser and Streicher — who were Impossible to deal with, and, behind 

19 
them all, stood the untrustworthy Hitler. The Nazi movement, too, 

contained both moderate and radical elements; in 1928, in 1931, or in 

1933 it was scarcely easy to predict which of these elements would in 

the end win out. Even after 1933, in some areas for many years 

after, the true face of Nazism was masked by a combination of 

political guile and the party's own internal contradictions. 

The most telling example of the state government's inability to 

cope with the growing Nazi menace was that of the city of Coburg. 

Prior to 1920 the Coburg district had been an independent federal 

state, left over from the days when Germany had been subdivided into 

hundreds of such units, great and small. In 1920 the citizens of 

Coburg elected to merge with the larger neighboring state of Bavaria. 

With a nationalist tradition reaching back into the 19th Century, and 

with a predominantly middle class population unnerved by the upheavals 

of 1919 and the subsequent years of economic instability, Coburg 

quickly became a center of radical right activity. Two years after 

merging with Bavaria it was the setting for one of the first great 

National Socialist demonstrations. The Volkischer Block won a majority 

in Coburg in the 1924 Landtag elections. In 1929 the Nazi party 

attained a majority of the seats on the Coburg city council; Coburg 

became the first city in Germany to be governed by the Nazis. One year 



232 



later this triumph was completed when the leader of the local Nazi 

20 
party bocanio t\\v mayor of Coburg. 

Tliree years before the Nazi seizure of power In the rest of 

Germany, Coburg provided a first glimpse at the process of 

Gleichschaltung . Recognizing the critical importance of the 

police, they moved first to consolidate their control over the 

municipal force in Coburg. After forcing the resignation of the 

Police Director, the Nazi authorities replaced him with a police 

officer who was also a loyal member of the party. Under its new 

leader, the Coburg police force quickly became a loyal and willing 

instrument of the Nazi party. With nothing to fear from the police, 

the SA gangs initiated a reign of terror. No enemy of the party could 

21 
consider himself safe from intimidation or physical violence. 

The state government, nonetheless, made no immediate countermoves , 

Even as late as August 1931, the Provincial President of Upper 

22 
Franconia was willing to defend the behavior of the Nazis in Coburg. 

Finally, at the beginning of 1932, the Ministry of the Interior 

showed itself ready to hear the complaints of the local Social 

Democrats, as well as the warnings of its own agent in Coburg, the 

District Commissioner. On the eve of the Landtag elections in the 

spring, the Ministry exercised its emergency powers and transferred 



"'' Gleichschaltung , literally "coordination," was the term employed by the 
Nazis in 1933 and after to describe the methods through which the 
institutions of state and society were made responsive to the party's 
wishes. 



233 



control of the municipal police to the District Commissioner. His 
special powers, however, were temj-jorary , and control of the police 
reverted to the city authorities at the end of the summer. Again in 
the fall, at the time of the Reichstag elections, the state invoked 

its emergency powers; again, after the elections, it allowed its 

23 
control over the police to lapse. 

The Ministry of the Interior's limited use of its special 
powers and the timing of its interventions to coincide with the 
various elections showed that its main concern was not the termination 
of Nazi terror in Coburg, but the preservation of the governing 
coalition's electoral position. The state's temporary assumptions of 
police authority were by their very nature unsuited to the task of 
eliminating the abuse of this authority by the Nazis. The laws 
permitting the Verstaatlichung of the police had been devised as a 
means of ensuring, where necessary, effective state control over the 
police. Under these laws the state had the power to erect a state- 
controlled police directory and permanently remove the police from 
the control of the city authorities. Nothing short of this would 
do, for the Nazi-dominated police force had proven itself adept at 

evading orders given by the District Commissioner in the exercise of 

24 
his temporary emergency powers. Frustrated by these evasions, the 

District Commissioner recommended the Verstaatlichung of the police 

25 
in Coburg. His recommendation, however, was not followed. 

Evidently, Nazi control of the police in Coburg did not appear so 



234 



great a danger as the threat of moderate socialist and republican 
control oT the police in Nu rcniljerf, had appeared in 1923. 

Tiie |)aLent inade(|uacy of tiie state government's response to tiie 
problem of Nazi sympathizers within the police apparatus and the 
civil service had been attributed by Stutzel to the "timidity" of his 
party colleagues in the face of the Nazi threat. This was not 
completely fair. Timidity there may have been — Stutzel, certainly, 
was in a position to know — but the situation of the government and 
of the BVP was in no way an easy one. Electoral support for the 
Nazis was growing in Bavaria, The Landtag elections in April 1932 
made the Nazi party the second largest in the state after the BVP. 

Outside of Bavaria Nazi strength was growing at an even more rapid 

27 
rate. The Nazi movement was fast becoming too large to be countered 

with ordinary measures of control. Any attempt to employ extraordinary 

repressive measures against the movement, however, invited even 

greater difficulties. From their expanded base of power in northern 

Germany the Nazis could exert pressure upon the Reich government to 

overturn any special actions taken by the Bavarian government, an 

ironic reversal of the state of affairs which had existed before 

28 
1923. Moreover, public response within Bavaria to anti-Nazi 

measures would, at best, be uncertain. The Nazi party, after all, 

had identified itself strongly with the struggle against Communism, 

a position of considerable public appeal. The strength of the 

Communist movement was increasing throughout all of Germany, reawakening 



235 



the only scarcely dormant fears of a repetition of 1919. Although the 
iiicrc'.isc of CdiiinuinisL st rcMi)', Lli w.i.s not nearly ho j'.rcat as that of Liu- 
Nazis', tlie Communists, in tlie popular view, presented a more 
fundamental threat to the Bavarian way of life. Bavaria had ex- 
perienced, however briefly, the rule of the Communists; relatively 
speaking, the Nazis remained an unknown quantity. However much the 
Nazis might be disliked, they were at least strongly anti-Communist; 

the BVP could not attack them without calling its own anti-Communist 

29 
credentials into question. 

Given the fragile political position of the Held government in 

1932 and the rightward trend in popular sentiment evidenced by the 

dramatic growth in Nazi electoral support, the party could not afford 

to back strong measures to purge the civil service of Nazi supporters. 

Only a coalition between the BVP and the Social Democrats could have 

provided the political basis for a strong move against the radical 

right. But such a coalition was impossible. The Social Democrats 

had indicated an interest in re-entering the government, and had 

informally assisted the BVP in the Landtag since 1930. Still, the 

SPD was regarded as, at best, too soft toward the Communist threat and, 

at worst, a mere Trojan horse, which would carry the Communists 

secretly into power. After a decade of treating the Social Democrats 

as the enemy, a sudden about-face on the part of the BVP leadership 

would have lent substance to the Nazi allegations of cooperation 

between the government and the hated "Reds," and risked a catastrophic 



236 



erosion of the BVP's popular position. As in 1921 and 1922, the 

30 
party did not dare risk beinj; cauj'.lit to the lelt of its popular basL-. 

In any event, tlie Nazis mij^ht be needed if the CommunlKts became 
too strong. The Communist threat appeared grave, more so, in fact, 
then its actual strength warranted. Dependent upon the political 
police for information about the Communist threat, policy-makers 
were victimized by the prevailing biases within the police system. 
In Ludwigshafen, Police Director Walter Antz ignored the Nazis and 
committed virtually his entire political police force to the investi- 
gation of Communist activities. The political police in Nuremberg 
consistently submitted hair-raising reports about the Communist 
menace in northern Bavaria, while downplaying the threat to order 

presented by the Nazis. Similar tendencies were evident throughout 

31 
the remainder of the political police system. Convinced by both 

prior experience and current political police reportage of the danger 

from the left and unable to act against the danger from the right, the 

state government checkmated itself. 

The Nazi breakthrough, nonetheless, came first outside of Bavaria. 

After the reformation of the Nazi party in 1925, the party's activities 

had been increasingly concentrated in northern Germany. The breakdown 

in the parliamentary system at the national level and the machinations 

of such conservative nationalists as Alfred Hugemburg, the powerful 

press magnate, brought Hitler and his followers ever closer to the 

center of power in Germany. Slowly, but inexorably, the conservative 



237 



leadership gravitated toward an alliance with the Nazi party. After 
repeated negotiations and behind-the-scenes intrigues, Adolf Hitler 
became Chancel]or of Germany on January 30, 1933. The Nazis had 
crossed the threshhold of power. 

The new chancellor and his supporters first concentrated their 
attention upon Prussia, the largest state in Germany and long a 
political bastion of the Social Democrats. Already in 1932 Hitler's 
conservative predecessors had struck a blow against the individual 
powers of the Prussian state by assigning a Reich Commissar to take 
political control of Prussia. Using the same legal device. Article A8 
of the Weimar constitution. Hitler and Frick further fortified the 
national government's position in Prussia, The Bavarian government 
was placed in a quandry. On the one hand, it did not wish to see this 
erosion of states' rights go unchallenged, but on the other hand, it 
did not wish to align itself with Prussian Socialists. Nor did not 
wish to invite the attention of the new government to the question of 

Bavaria's own position in the Reich . Thus, the Bavarian protest in this 

32 
instance was uncharacteristically mild. The process of Glelch- 

schaltung proceeded apace in Prussia, 



'-Joining Hitler in the new national cabinet were Wilhelm Frick, as 
Minister of the Interior, and Franz Ciirtner, as Minister of Justice. 
Gurtner had been the DNVP's representative in the Bavarian government 
until 1932, always as state Minister of Justice. In this capacity he 
had repeatedly exerted a dire influence upon the administration of 
justice in the state and had contributed to the right-wing bias of the 
justice system that had been the object of Stutzel's complaint about 
judges and prosecutors. In 1932 he joined the Papen cabinet as Reich 
Minister of Justice. He remained at this post until his death in 1941. 



238 



This incident reflected the larger dilemma posed for the Bavarian 
jj;ovornment and Llic UVP leadership by Hitler's accession to |)ower. 
'I'lie BVP wanted to maintain its own power in Bavaria and to preserve 
Bavaria's right vis-a-vis the Reich . At the same time it wished to 
avoid any actions which might undermine the new government's efforts 
to deal with the Communist threat. Germany's economic collapse 
appeared almost complete; the manifestations of popular discontent 
seemed almost overwhelming. Such conditions had already produced 
one leftist revolution in Germany. If the anti-Communist forces 
could not create a united front, it might happen again, and all 
that the BVP had worked for since 1919 would have gone for naught. 

The position of the Bavarians was difficult. Could Hitler and 
his followers be trusted to act responsibly, or would the revolutionary 
impulses in the Nazi movement win out? Would the Nazis allow Bavaria 
to go its own way, so long as Bavaria followed a strict anti-Communist 
policy, or would Hitler attempt to impose the rule of his own party 
directly on Bavaria? To further solidify his basis of strength. Hitler 
had called for a national election on March 5, 1933, The balloting 
for a new Reichstag would be combined with a plebiscite on the new 
government. The burning of the Reichstag building on the night of 
February 27, attributed by the Nazis to a Communist act of arson, 
served as a point of departure for a nationwide campaign against the 
Communists and, not incidentally, as the pivot of Nazi electoral 
propaganda. The Reic hstag fire also occasioned the promulgation of a 



239 



"Law for the Defense of the People and State," through which a legal 
fciuiidatlon was created for extraordinary repressive measures. 
A] tiiough aimed primarily at tlie left, tlie new Jaw carried the pos- 
sibility of further interventions in the rights of the various states 
by the central government. 

The BVP was divided in its responses to these national develop- 
ments. Fritz Schaffer, who had been elected party chairman in 1929 
and was thus formally the political leader of the party — in the 
1933 electoral campaign he was acclaimed at party meetings as "our 
Fiihrer" — showed a willingness to work with the Nazis. This willingness 
followed from Schaffer's dedication to the battle against Communism 
and his belief that the more dangerously revolutionary elements in 
the Nazi movement could be held in check. To this end Schaffer had 
worked for the formation of a government of "national concentration," 
which would include all the major right-wing parties, including the 
NSDAP. This strategy met both of Schaffer's goals. It would unite 
the nation's anti-Communist forces and it would make the Nazis 
controllable; such a government, based upon the parliamentary majority 
rather than the Reich President's emergency powers, would make Hitler 
dependent upon his conservative coalition partners, the BVP included, 
and prevent him from acting against their interests. The Nazis, 
however, had resisted this approach, preferring the greater freedr 
of action of the presidial solution. Schaffer's efforts failed. 

Heinrich Held had, all along, been more sceptical of the prospects 
for cooperation with the Nazis. As Held put it, if half the Nazi 



lom 
33 



240 



movement consisted of loyal patriots, the other half was composed of 

34 
d;mj;croii.s rcvol uL ion;ir i.cs . Wilh llie Nazis in power, however, the 

state government was forced to work out some more concrete policy to 
protect Bavarian interests. The policy finally adopted had several 
components. The BVP would campaign diligently to preserve its 
political position in the coming election. Since the national 
government had justified its interventions in Prussia and other states 
on the grounds that these states had not taken effective steps against 
the Communists, the Bavarian government would increase its own anti- 
Communist measures to a hitherto unprecedented scale, while emphasizing 
that the BVP took second place to no one in the depth of its anti- 
Communist commitment. The Nazis would, in this way, have no justifi- 
cation for an intervention into Bavarian affairs or for an infringement 
of Bavaria's internal sovereignty. If, despite these measures, the 
Hitler government chose to act against Bavaria or against the BVP's 
position within Bavaria, then the BVP and the state government would 
have no choice but to resist. With the manifest failure of the 

policy of "national concentration," Schaffer and his supporters also 

35 
lent their support to this approach. However reluctantly, the BVP 

was willing to accept Nazi rule in Berlin, so long as Bavaria was 
spared its effects. 

In Bavaria, the electoral campaign developed into a contest 
between the BVP and the Nazis to see which could outdo the other in 
anti-Communist rhetoric and action. The Nazis might attack the BVP for 



241 



having been weak in its measures against the left, but such attacks 
carried little welglit with loyal BVP followers, who know that tlieir 
party had always been staunchly anti-leftist. Throughout the Weimar 
years, under BVP leadership, Bavaria had been the "cell of order" — 
significantly, the old phrase Ordnungszelle Bayern surfaced after a 
decade of disuse in the 1933 campaign. If the Nazis were creating a 
"new order" in Germany, then there was no need for them to impose 
It m Bavaria. 

At the same time the Bavarian party made plans to defend itself 
should the Nazis seek direct control over the state. Fears of an SA 
putsch in Munich gave impetus to defense preparations by the 
Bayernwacht , the BVP's own paramilitary auxiliary. Schaffer and his 
colleagues also explored the idea of a Wittelsbach restoration, with 
Crown Prince Rupprecht at the head of a newly-structured authoritarian 
regime. As a countermove against the Nazis, however, this step had 
little to commend itself; it would place Bavaria in direct opposition 
to the national government, and it would force the BVP into an 
alliance with the Social Democrats — ironically, the only other ma-jor 
party in Bavaria willing to support such a move was the SPD. Moreover, 
although a generalized monarchist sentiment still ran deeply in 
Bavaria, the actual monarchist movement was weak and disorganized. When 

approached by monarchist representatives. Minister President Held 

37 
offered little encouragement. 

With the elections of March 5, the BVP lost much of its remaining 

room for maneuver. Tn Cermnny as a whole, the NSDAP received A3. 9% 



242 



of the vote, a result which, when coupled with the votes of its 
nntlonnl-conscrvntive partners, ensured the Hitler government a 
majority in the Reichstag . In Bavaria the Nazis did almost as well, 
taking 43.1% of the vote. In contrast, the percentage of votes cast 
for the BVP fell to 27.2%. The election had scarcely been a model 
of democratic procedure; the Nazis had used every means, fair and 
foul, to guarantee their own success. The results, nonetheless, could 
be trumpeted by Goebbel's propaganda machine as a major triumph, and 
in Bavaria the Nazis prepared to claim the fruits of victory. 

But would this claim involve ah accommodation with the BVP or 
its ejection from power in Bavaria? Several days before the election, 
on March 1, Held had met with Hitler in Berlin. Held pledged the 
loyalty and support of the Bavarian government and expressed his 
understanding for the measures taken by the national government 
against those states ruled by the Social Democrats and agreed with 
Hitler that these measures were justified by the Communist threat in 
Germany. He stressed that the BVP had always refused a coalition 
with the SPD, that it had always been strongly anti-Communist, and 
that it had every right to be considered a "national" — meaning 
nationalist — party. At the same time, however. Held also insisted 
that the government in Berlin had no basis for an intervention In 
Bavaria and expressed his strong misgivings about the anti-clerical 
element in the National Socialist party. Although at the outset of the 
meeting Hitler had endeavored to place Held on the defensive, the 



243 



Chancellor now tried to be reassuring. He remarked that no one was 
considering an iiitcrvent Jon in the affairs of I5avaria and attempted 
to convince Held that the Nazi party was in no way against tlie Cliurch. 
Although clearly not completely convinced by Hitler's words, Held 

professed himself "not discontented" ( nicht unbef riedigt ) with the 

39 
outcome of the meeting. 

Held had borne himself with considerable grace in a difficult 
situation. He had made clear the points of difference between the 
BVP and the Nazi party, while at the same time indicating the willing- 
ness of his party and government to reach an understanding with Hitler 
and his movement. As late as March 7, two days after the elections, 
the Held cabinet still entertained hopes of a compromise with the 
Nazi regime. The "Law for the Defense of the People and the State" 
of February 28 had taken the authority to assign Reich Commissars 
from the hands of President Hindenburg and given it to the Interior 
Minister — that is, to Frick, The device had already been used in 
Prussia, and Frick had threatened its use in other states. On the 
day following the election Frick carried out this threat in a number 
of north German states, where Social Democrats remained in the 
government. Despite this show of earnest, the Bavarian leaders 
continued to believe Hitler's assurances to Held, At the cabinet 
meeting on March 7, Interior Minister Stutzel reminded his colleagues 
of Hitler's words and contended that, since the purpose of Frick's 
action had been to accelerate the repression of the Communists, 



244 



Bavaria had little to fear. The Nazis had nothing to teach the 

40 
Bavarian government on that score. A greater fear was that unruly 

elements witliln tlie local Nazi organizations, particularly the SA, 

would attempt on their own to stage a putsch. Against such an 

attempt the state could only respond with force, but the local units 

of the Reichswehr held back from any such involvement, and the 

commandant of the LaPo expressed reluctance to act against the Nazis. 

41 
The Bayernwacht was no match for the SA. The government could only 

wait; the initiative had passed to the Nazis. 

During the evening of March 8 the putsch rumors became stronger. 

On the morning of March 9 Held met with Stutzel and Police President 

Julius Koch to consider the remaining defense options. Koch 

/ 9 

counselled negotiations rather than resistance. Shortly after noon 
a delegation consisting of the head of the SA, Ernst Rohm, the 
Reichsfuhrer SS, Heinrich Himmler, and the Nazi Gauleiter of Munich- 
Upper Bavaria, met at Held's office and delivered an ultimatum: either 
the Bavarian government would appoint Ritter von Epp to the post of 
Generals taatskommissar with full administrative and executive powers, 
or the government in Berlin would achieve the same result by appointing 
Epp to be Reichskommissar in Bavaria. The choice of Epp, Bavaria's 



*Koch had replaced Karl Mantel at the PDM upon the latter 's death in 
1929. The change in leadership brought no accompanying changes in 
policy, since Koch followed Mantel's practices carefully and was 
politically a colorless adherent of the BVP. 

^'''Epp, a much-decorated war liero — perhaps the most noted Bavarian 
soldier of the First World War — had been feted for his role in the 



2A5 



hero in the war against the Raterrepublik , represented a certain con- 
cession to local sensibilities, as did tlie face-saving alternative of 
allowing the Bavarian government to make the appointment itself. In 
this sense the ultimatum carried the recognition that Bavaria was 
indeed different from Hamburg or Bremen, and that the BVP had earned 
through its consistent anti-Marxism some special consideration. This 
was not, however, enough to please Held, who allowed the delegation to 
depart unanswered, and who clung in the face of overwhelming reality 
to the position he had occupied for almost a decade. Shortly before 
eight that evening Frick despatched the order naming Epp as Reich 
Commissar. Held replied with an angry telegram claiming that Frick' s 
order was illegal. The "Law for the Defense of the People and State" 
authorized the employment of a Reich Commissar only in instances of 
threatened public disorder and where the state government had shown 
itself incapable of meeting such a threat. In Held's words, these 
grounds were lacking because in Bavaria, "peace and order and the 
control of Communist disorders was unquestionably assured by the 
state." Hitler and Frick refused to concede the point, and a further 



suppression of the 1919 Soviet Republic as the "liberator of Munich," 
In the period 1919-1923 he had been a prominent figure in the councils 
of the Bavarian radical right. Although always sympathetic to the 
Nazis, Epp had gravitated first to the BVP. After 1923 he drifted 
away from the BVP and toward the Nazis; the power of his name in 
Bavaria assured him a prominent place in the Bavarian branch of the 
party, but his traditionalism and his piety kept him from a central 
place in the party leadership. 

*AThe original German reads,"., .well kuhe und Ordnung und Bekiimpfung 
kommunistischer Ausschreitungen mit den staatlichen Machtmitteln 
zweifellow geslcliert war." Cited in Wlesemann, Die Vorgesch tchtc dor 
NS-tlaclitJihernahmc in Bn yc'^rn , p. 2.'-il. 



246 



appeal to President Hindenberg likewise failed. Finally admitting 
dufc-JiL, Held yielded pi)wer to I'^pp kiter that same evening.' 

Tlie Nazi celebration had already begun. During the night of 
March 9 exultant SA men broke into the homes of Stiitzel and Schaffer, 
dragged the two men from their beds, and carried them to the Brown 
House, where they were abused and beaten. Neither man was seriously 
injured, and both received apologies from Epp the next day. But 
on the morning of March 10, as the battered Stiitzel attended the 
last meeting of the Held cabinet, no illusions about the Nazis were 
left. 

Epp's first acts upon the receipt of power were the appointment 
of Gauleiter Wagner to take over the Ministry of the Interior, and 
the appointment of Heinrich Himmler to head the PDM. This move to 
concentrate police power in Bavaria in Nazi hands brought Himmler 
for the first time into the leadership of a police force in Germany. 
It was thus the first major step in a career that would take Himmler 
to the pinnacle of power in Germany, and ultimately, throughout much 
of Europe, and which would make the name Himmler a synonym for evil. 
At the time of appointment to the PDM Heinrich Himmler was only 
thirty- two years old. Born in Munich of a middle class family, 
Himmler 's background showed none of the quirks observed in the formative 
years of many other later Nazi leaders. At the age of seventeen he 
volunteered for military service and, with the assistance of family 
connections — for Himmler was still underage — was accepted as an 



247 



officer cadet. The war ended, however, before Ilimmler could get to 
Lhe front. Ills brief JnvoLvcmenL wltli a I'ree (^orj^.s during the fJn.il 
days of tiie K aLerrepnl) I i k ! Ikcwise ended without lliinmler's iiavinjj, 
seen action. In 1920, while a university student, Himmler enlisted 
in the Civic Guard. After its dissolution, he moved to yet another 
paramilitary organization, the Reichsf lagge . At roughly the same 
time he made the acquaintance of Ernst Rohm. Through Rohm he became 
a member of the Nazi party, and under Rohm's leadership he participated 
in the putsch of November 8, 1923. In the aftermath of the putsch 
Himmler attached himself to Gregor Strasser, and through him attained 
a subordinate position in the party headquarters organization. In 
this capacity he proved his loyalty and dedication, but found little 

opportunity to distinguish himself. In 1929 he was still very much 

. ^ „ . 46 

a minor figure m the Nazi movement. 

His opportunity finally came on January 6, 1929, when Hitler 

gave him the leadership of the party's Security Squadron, the 

Schutzstaffel or SS. The grandiose title Reichsfiihrer SS, however, 

could not conceal the relative insignificance of Himmler's new command. 

The SS had evolved as a special headquarters guard within the overall 

structure of the SA. At the time of Himmler's appointment in 1929 it 

had only 280 members, whose time and energy was mostly devoted to 

running errands for party administrators. Revealing a hitherto 

little-suspected talent for organization, Himmler expanded his SS to 

ten times its 1929 strength in the span of two years. At the same 



2A8 



time he found a new and potentially fruitful mission for the head- 
ciuartcrs liodyj^u.ird. It would be the police force within the |)arty. 

As an adjunct to this mission tlie SS began to develop a political 
intelligence service. Such services were a common feature of German 
political life during the Weimar era; the police were not the only 
organization to watch over the political parties — the parties spied 
on each other. With the expansion of the SS and with its new party 
police mission, an extension of its work into the field of political 
intelligence was logical. To head his newly-created political 
intelligence service, christened the Security Service of the SS, or, 
from its German initials, the SD, Himmler selected a young former 
naval officer, Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich's naval career had ended 
abruptly following a transgression against the officer's code of 
honor. Embittered and left without a profession, Heydrich drifted 
into the SS. His fortunes turned when he impressed Himmler with his 
plan for the organization of a political service. In 1931, at the 
age of twenty-seven, Heydrich was given command of the SD. The position 
was not, at that time, of great significance, but it enabled Heydrich 
to fortify his standing with Himmler. Over the next two years Heydrich 



*In Bavaria, the SPD was reputed to have the most efficient and best- 
informed political intelligence service. Run by Ernst Schneppenhorst, 
the former Minister for Military Affairs in the Hoffmann cabinet, this 
service concentrated its efforts upon the Nazis and the Communists. The 
information used by Nuremberg Mayer Luppe in the incident described in 
Chapter 4, pp. 204-205, was supplied by this service, as was much of the 
inside Information on Nazi party activities regularly published in the 
SPD's Miinchner Post. 



249 



served his apprenticeship in this post, and prepared himself for 
greater things to come. Wlien lllmniler received his appointment to 

liead the Municli police, lleydricli accompanied him and took over the 

A8 
leadership of PDM VI. From this starting point Heydrich would 

organize the apparatus of terror, first in Bavaria, and then throughout 

all of Germany. 

The organized political terror which would be applied by Heydrich 

through the police structure was anticipated by a wave of unsystematic 

terror beginning on the day of the Nazi takeover in Bavaria. All day 

long on March 9, gangs of SA and SS men coursed through the streets 

of Munich. Initially, at least, the atmosphere had been as much 

festive as sinister — the Nazi seizure of power in Bavaria coincided 

with the beginning of the Starkbierzeit , an occasion customarily 

marked by much rambunctious carousing in the streets. By nightfall, 

however, the mood had become ugly. SA mobs destroyed the offices of 

a Catholic newspaper and the offices of the Social Democratic 

Munchner Post . The beatings of Schaffer and Stiitzel took place later 

that night, as did raids to free party members incarcerated in the 

49 
Munich jails. 

The next morning Ritter von Epp's proclamation of the new order 

in Bavaria was circulated in Munich and the other Bavarian cities and 

towns. The proclamation had been carefully worded, with three 

distinct but related purposes in view. First, the announcement would 

make clear to everyone just whore the power now lay in Bavaria. Second, 



250 



Epp's proclamation sought to reassure all citizens that the changes 
In j.'.iivernnienL wltc not rovol iit lonary , but rather an extension of the 
traditional policies of the liVP in a more "national" and effective 
manner. Third, the proclamation served as a statewide call to arms 
in the struggle against all forms of socialism. 

That evening the call to arms was followed by more concrete 
measures. Interior Minister Wagner sent out orders to all the Police 
Directories and State Police Offices to begin a massive series of 
arrests aimed at all the left-wing groups. The SA and the SS received 
similar orders. Moreover, the police were ordered to treat the SA 
and the SS as auxiliaries. The purpose of this order was not to aid 
the police — little coordinated assistance could be expected from the 
unruly Nazi bands— but to license the SA and the SS to act officially. 
Given this license, the Storm Troopers went on a rampage, seizing 
hundreds of socialist functionaries, beating them up, and carting 
them off to jail. The gangs often combined their political mission 
with the settlement of personal scores and with filling their own 
pockets — many homes were looted during the course of Nazi searches 
that night. Worse yet from the point of view of the new regime, the 
haphazard SA actions often resulted in the arrest or abuse of 
innocents, including some of the very civil servants the Nazi leadership 
needed on its side during the period of transition. Before the evening 
was out, matters were so thoroughly out of hand that Wagner had to 
issue yet another order to the various police forces, requiring them to 



251 



protect persons and property from illegal actions by the SA. Other 
orders attcm|ited to control the actions of the SA directly, to little 

M 51 

ava I I . 

Over the next five days Wagner and Epp endeavored to bring the 
SA's behavior into line with the Nazi government's overall needs, and 
to find a way of replacing "random" terror with a more carefully aimed 
repression. To this end Wagner brought Himmler into the Ministry of 

the Interior as his political advisor and, in this capacity, gave him 

52 
responsibility for the political police throughout the state. Two 

weeks later he invested Himmler with additional police powers and the 

53 
title "Political Police Commander for Bavaria." 

Wagner's decree of April 1, 1933 became the basis for the Nazi 

political police system in Bavaria; not until 1936 would the system 

receive further alteration, and even after 1936, the main organizational 

features established in 1933 would remain intact. These features 

were as follows. Himmler was named to head the political police, 

subordinate only to the Interior Minister himself. The political 

department of the PDM became an independent agency under Himmler 

with the designation "Bavarian Political Police" — hereafter BPP. 

As Political Police Commander Himmler would also control the political 

departments of all the police directories and state police offices and 

the political police advisors in the provincial presidia and district 

offices. The "Political Auxiliary Police," a force composed of SS 

men already under Himmler's command in his capacity as Reichsfilhrer 



252 



SS, received authorization to assist the executive operations of the 
political poJ.Icc. All concent rat Ion caiiip.s Jn tiic state were placed 

under llimmler. Finally, the remaining police organizations in the 

54 
state were ordered to assist the political police upon demand. 

For a document of such vital import, Wagner's decree was remarkably 

brief. Viewed against the background of fourteen years of political 

police development in Bavaria, however, the reason for this brevity 

was clear. The decree of April 1, 1933 simply lifted the existing 

political police network out of the traditional administrative structure 

and placed it in the hands of Himmler. PDM VI, in its new incarnation 

as the BPP, continued its established role as the central office for 

all political police activities in Bavaria. Its 181 officers were 

transferred as a group to the new organization; even officers who 

had won a reputation for anti-Nazi sentiment were retained if they 

showed a willingness to serve the new leadership — and most did. 

In the months which followed the BPP would almost double its original 

strength, but most of the new personnel would be drawn from other 

branches of the Munich police force. Similar practices were followed 

in the other police directories and state police offices; the existing 

personnel and organizational structures were retained intact, except 

for the occasional replacement of the police directors themselves. 

With the notable exception of Himmler and Heydrich, the new Nazi 



253 



political police force was the old Bavarian political police force, a 
corps of skilled and experienced profess tona Is . 

Heydrlch understood from tlie outset how to gain and retain the 
loyal support of these professional policemen. Some of them, of 
course, had long been Nazi sympathizers. Others had built their 
political police careers upon anti-leftist activities, which stood 
them as well with the new regime as the old. Then there were the 
careerists, dedicated to no cause save their own advancement. Many 
exhibited a combination of these qualities. Even the most morally 
and politically scrupulous officer would have hesitated in 1933, with 
the country in the midst of depression, to voluntarily renounce his 
civil servant's income and prospects for retirement. Whatever his own 
talents might be, Heydrich knew that he needed these professionals if 
he was to have an effective political police force; he entertained few 
illusions about the relative merits of party fanatics vis-a-vis trained 
professionals for the tasks he had in -mind. Moreover, Heydrich was 
himself cynical about the party. He valued loyalty to himself more 

CO 

highly in his new subordinates than loyalty to the party creed. The 
more ambitious officers had little difficulty in seeing this, and, 
accordingly, hitched their professional wagons to Heydrich 's rising star. 



*Even such apparent novelties as the "Political Auxiliary Police" had 
their precedent. The PAP resembled nothing so much as the Notpolizei , 
which had consisted of the Patriotic Associations acting as an author- 
ized arm of the state. The use — or rather, misuse — of the Notpoli- 
zei had, of course, contributed to Nortz's downfall. The PAP's role in 
party-state relations was, in any event, more significant than its in- 
consequential police activities. See Peter Diel-Thiele, Partei und 
■Slaat Im J)rl t.Uli)_i''-'il^ (Munich. 1 069), pp. 7';-H3. 



254 



For the average officer, particularly the officer of long service, 
the cliangcover was scarcely momentous. There had heen clianges before 
in the office of Police President, and Himmler's rhetoric was no 
more violent than Pohner's had been. The new government based its 
rule on emergency decree, but so, too, had Kahr's government. The 
enemy, as before, stood on the left; the older officer had heard other 
superiors rant about shooting down the "Red dogs." If he had 
experienced the summer of 1919 as a policeman or as a soldier, he 
might, perhaps, have already shot a few Reds himself. If the new 
regime spoke of extraordinary measures against the Jews, then hadn't 
Pohner and Kahr contemplated the deportation of the Ostjuden . The 
political policeman of 1933 could not see into the future, to 
Auschwitz, to Einsatzgruppen , to the "final solution." He could, 
however, look to the past, to his own store of experiences, and see 
parallels to all the Nazi measures evident in 1933. And should he 
still undergo a moment's uncertainty, there stood the reassuring 
figure of Ritter von Epp, Bavaria's hero, at the head of the Nazi 
power apparatus in the state, and in Berlin, close to the very center 
of power, was one of his own, in the person of Interior Minister Frick. 
He might later discover that neither Epp nor Frick represented the 
true spirit of the new regime, but that, too, was hardly obvious in 
the spring of 1933.^^ 

One such officer was Heinrich Muller. Although a contemporary of 
Himmler's — Muller was only some five months older than the 



255 



Reichsfuhrer — Miiller had achieved the front-line service and 
decorations for bravery of wliich llinimler liad only dreamed. After the 
war Miiller entered the police service as a member of PDM VI under 
Frick. He rose steadily through the ranks, attaining the highest 
marks in his examinations for promotion. During this phase of his 
career he worked in PDM VI/N as a specialist on the Communist movement, 
an employment which brought him under the influence of the redoubtable 
Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser, and which would stand him in good stead 
in the weeks following the Nazi takeover. In the years before 1933 
Miiller had made a name for himself among his colleagues for his anti- 
leftist zeal and his willingness to go beyond the law in the course of 
his actions. Miiller himself attributed his hatred of the left to the 
experience of the Soviet Republic, but some of his colleagues could 
see another element. In the PDM of that era, excesses against the 
left did not necessarily denote a principled hostility to the left, 
for they were also the logical steps an ambitious officer would take 
to distinguish himself. Muller combined his anti-leftist principles 
with an overweening ambition. His marriage to the daughter of a man 
well-connected in the BVP and his own political stance between the 
BVP and the DNVP, the second party of the Held coalition, suggested 
his commitment to self-advancement. The Munich branch of the Nazi 
party knew very well how to measure Miiller 's ambition. In a 1937 
commentary on Miiller a local party representative acknowledged Miiller 's 
anti-Communist reputation in the old days of the PDM, but then added 



256 



that, had it been useful to his career at that time, Miiller would have 
been cquiilly capable of excessive zeal ag^iinst the Nazi party. 
Heinrich Miiller was a brave, intelligent, and well-trained political 
policeman. He was also ruthless, cynical, and dedicated to his own 
cause. In all of these qualities, good and bad, he was an exemplary 
product of the Pohner-Frick era at the PDM. As such, he and Heydrich 
were made for each other. 

With Miiller and a coterie of like-minded professional policemen at 
his side, Heydrich had little difficulty in making the BPP a responsive 
and effective instrument of the new order. The political police in 
the other parts of Bavaria proved themselves equally adaptable to the 
changes at the top. The new government had originally intended to 
retain Gareis and Schachinger at their posts in the PDN-F. The 
behavior of the SA in Nuremberg, however, had unsettled the two men. 
Though they might sympathize strongly with the new regime, Gareis and 
Schachinger were at heart traditional right-wing bureaucrats. The 
rowdy brutalities of the SA disturbed them, and the tendency of the 

Storm Troopers to act without heed of the Nuremberg police disturbed 

61 
them even more. For its part, the local SA was unwilling to cater 

to the sensibilities of the police leadership. 

On March 20, 1933, Gareis and Schachinger requested indefinite 

leave from their positions. On March 22 the third man in the PDN-F, 

Benno Martin, was temporarily entrusted with the leadership of the 

Nuremberg police. Four days later Himmler himself took control of the 



257 



PDN-F, although his preoccupation with affairs in Munich meant that 
Martin remained the real authority. On April 20 lUmmler yielded Ills 
position to tlie FreJherr von Mnlr.en-l'onlekau, the local SS leader. The 
haron ran afoul of Streicher and was replaced in August by a senior 
SA official, Hanns von Obernitz. Obernitz, in turn, fell from grace 
following the Blood Purge of June 30, 1934 — only good fortune 
prevented him from being murdered along with Rohm and other SA leaders. 
Throughout this interlude Martin remained the functional head of the 
PDN-F — neither Malsen-Ponickau nor Obernitz had any talent for 
administration — in addition to running the political department. 

On October 1, 1934, Martin finally received his formal appointment 

64 
as Police-President in Nuremberg. 

If the history of the police in Nuremberg before 1933 was largely 

the story of Gareis and Schachinger, then its history after 1933 was 

even more the story of their protege, Benno Martin, The two older 

men went onto high positions in the Nazi state administration — despite 

their 1933 differences with the SA, Gareis and Schachinger received 

due recognition from the new regime for past services rendered — and 

Martin became the single most important Nazi official in Nuremberg. 

Not even the formidable Julius Streicher, one of the few colleagues 

to whom Hitler permitted the Intimate "du" form of address, would 

prove capable of besting Martin. 

Martin was, in many respects, a remarkable figure. The product 

of a family with a long civil service tradition in Bavaria, Martin 



258 



had chosen to follow in this tradition. When the First World War 
began Martin set aside his legal studies at the University of Munich 
and entered the army. In 1915 he received his lieutenant's commission, 
and by the end of the war had added a long list of decorations, 
including the Iron Cross first and second class. In 1920 he transferred 
from the army to the LaPo, and resumed his legal studies at the 
University of Erlangen. In 1923 he attained his Ph.D. and passed the 
various examinations leading to a position in the civil service. He 
also managed to find time between his police and academic endeavors 
to write a legal handbook for police officers which would remain 
required reading for all Bavarian policemen for many years to come. 
Martin was formally accepted into the higher civil ser>/ice in 
the summer of 1923. His first assignment was as a Regierungsrat in 
the newly created PDN-F. There he served as Schachinger 's deputy 
in the political department. He became, after Schachinger, Gareis's 
most trusted and most valued subordinate. On the afternoon of 
November 10, 1923, the Public Prosecutor in Munich sent a request to 
the PDN-F for the arrest of the local Nazi leader, Streicher, on 
charges arising from Streicher's participation in the Beer Hall Putsch. 
Gareis handed Martin the delicate task of arresting Streicher and 
conducting his interrogation. After the interrogation, as Streicher 
was being returned to his cell for tlie night, the Nazi leader asked 
for an extra blanket. Martin saw that this request was honored. It 
was, by any standard, a small gesture of humanity, but Streicher came 



259 



over the years to treasure it. Perhaps even so small a gesture appeared 
great to a man so singularly lacking In liumane qualities. 'I'herearter, 
In the frequent encounters Ijetwt'cn tlie police and Streicher, Martin 
came to represent Gareis; Martin performed political favors for 
Streicher, and won a certain influence over the otherwise intractable 
man. Although Martin privately despised Streicher, he had perceived 

from the beginning the potential usefulness of the latter's friend- 

69 
ship. In this he was not to be mistaken. 

In May of 1933, Martin joined the NSDAP; in Martin's own words 
he had not joined before the Nazi takeover at the expressed recommenda- 
tion of Streicher because "I could better serve the party as a non- 
member in my position [as a policeman]." In 1934, Streicher gave 
public recognition to Martin's earlier services by accepting him into 
the ranks of the local party's "old fighters," an honorific usually 
reserved for those who had been party members since the early days 
of the party's existence. While willing to use the Streicher 
connection to solidify his position in the new Germany, Martin had no 
intention of remaining dependent upon the local leaders ' capricious 
favors. He developed his relationship with Himmler, and used his 
not inconsiderable charm to win the support of Hitler himself. Martin 
became, in the words of his biographer, "Himmler's man" in Nuremberg. 
He was this, but lie was also, above all else, his own man. Later he 
would become the driving force behind the overthrow of Striecher, and 
during the war years he became the single most powerful man in northern 
Bavaria, 



260 



Perhaps more than ony other single individual, Benno Martin 
represented both Lhe continuity between tlie iire-1933 and post-]y3'3 
political i>o.lice organizations and the contradictions that this con- 
tinuity produced. Before 1933, Martin had used his official position 
to assist the Nazis in their climb to power. During the Third Reich 
he rose to a position of enormous power and received all the rewards 
a grateful Fuhrer and Fatherland could bestow and attained the highest 
rank within the SS. He administered the apparatus of political 
repression in Nuremberg and later throughout all of northern Bavaria. 
Against the left he continued the practices learned under Gareis 
and Schachinger, ensuring that his political policemen acted with 
energy and dispatch. He carried out the various National Socialist 
measures against the churches, and he supervised the deportation of 
the large Jewish population of Nuremberg to the extermination camps 
in the east. At the same time he protected those of his subordinates 
who wished to exercise their own religious beliefs from the interference 
of the party. He maintained and protected for six years a Gestapo 
officer who was not only an anti-Nazi — the officer worked in counter- 
espionage, where his political beliefs were less critical— but also 
had the courage to condemn the SS to Heydrich's face. He saw that 
passenger cars were used for the deportation of Nuremberg's Jews 
instead of freight cars — a singular occurrence in Nazi Germany. The 
result was, of course, the same; the trains still stopped at Auschwitz. 
This attempt to humanize the inhumane, however, was characteristic 



261 



of Martin. On an individual basis, he protected a number of other 
Jewish citizens front the transjjort to tlie east; aj^ain, these were, 
ironically, a liandful compared to tlie nuniliers whose death followed 
from his other actions. Martin likewise used his position to assist 

members of the July 20, 1944 conspiracy and their families after the 

73 
failure of the assassination attempt against Hitler. 

Shortly before his own death in 1942, Heydrich communicated to 

Himmler his personal evaluation of Martin. In it he grudgingly 

approved Martin's professional skills, but cautioned Himmler about 

Martin's ambition, and concluded that Martin would never have the 

"character of a good SS leader and National Socialist." Himmler, 

nonetheless, continued to support Martin's position in Nuremberg; 

Martin always took good care of his relations with his ultimate 

superior. Martin was a civil servant of the old school, capable of 

serving successive masters while retaining his own proprietary feelings 

about his personal domain. Like his predecessor Gareis, but in very 

different political surroundings, he maintained good relations with 

his superiors while going his own way. For the political police in 

Nuremberg, the National Socialist "revolution" was in no way 



^Because even these small gestures of humanity are so much at variance 
with the normal practices in Nazi Germany, and because they read so 
much like the worst sort of conventional — and usually exaggerated — 
accounts invented by those who did not wish to face directly the horrors 
committed in Germany from 1933 to 1945, the reader is reminded here that 
this account of Martin's actions is supported through the sworn testi- 
mony of Jewish eyewitnesses. See note 73. 



262 



revolutionary. So long as he was directly concerned with police 
matters Martin retained direct control over the )iolitical police — this 
despite Heydrich's later efforts to separate the Gestapo from the 
general police administration. Tiie internal organization of the 
political police remained much the same, although expansion produced 
further internal subdivision. In its key personnel the Nuremberg 
political police likewise demonstrated an unbroken line of continuity 
back to the founding of the PDN-F in 1923. 

Among these old hands were Friedrich Grelner, Theodor Graf enberger, 
and Ottomar Otto. All three had come to the PDN-F upon its creation 
In 1923. Greiner had performed a variety of administrative tasks for 
Gareis and had been the PDN-F 's special advisor to the new police 
directories created in 1929 and 1930. In 1933 he became head of the 
criminal police department of the PDN-F and in 1934 the Deputy-Police 
President. Graf enberger had served on the western front as an officer 
during the war, and afterwards had participated in the campaign 
against the Soviet Republic as a member of Ritter von Epp's Free Corps. 
In 1923 he joined with Otto in the political intelligence section of 
the PDN-F and remained there until 1933. After 1933, he took over 
the newly created Jewish desk in PND-F/TI, where he remained. In 
1941 he supervised the first mass deportation of Jews from Nuremberg. 
Otto's pre-1933 career, outwardly almost identical to that of 
Grafenberger, has been discussed in another context. In 1933 he took 



^See above, pp. 227-229. 



263 



over responsibility for all political police operations against the 
leftist parties. Tn the suinmcr of 1933, Otto supervised the "inter- 
rogation" of a Coinmun ist by two SA men. The Interrogation, which con- 
sisted of repeated beatings and stomach pumpings, resulted in the 
victim's death. For this, and other, similar, subsequent actions. 
Otto earned the sobriquet "bloodhound." Eventually Otto would become 
head of the Gestapo in Nuremberg. Martin's continued toleration of 
such a man added yet another stroke to the picture of contradictions 
which described the political police in Nuremberg. At least in 
the persons of Otto and Grafenbergcr the Free Corps spirit of 1919 
lived on in Nuremberg. 

The continuity exemplified by developments in Munich and Nuremberg 
was also typical of the other political police organizations in 

Bavaria. In Ludwigshaf en. Police Director Antz remained at his post 

7 f^ 
until his retirement in 19A0. Throughout the system, the natural 

processes of old age and retirement contributed far more to the 

elimination of pre-1933 personnel than any measures taken by the 

Nazis. Change did, of course, take place, and cumulatively, the 

changes wrought by these natural processes would be substantial. And 

these changes would be gradual and subtle, rather than dramatic. 

If changes in the areas of organization and personnel were subtle, 

then the changes in the political police mission and its procedures 

were more pronounced. The new regime, dedicated to total war against 

the political enemy, was much less fastidious than the old in matters 



264 



of justice and personal liberties. The Pohner era, to be sure, had 
Ik'cmi iiKirlcod I)y repeated excesses. No one who had witnessed the suppres- 
sion of the Soviet Republic and the wave of repression which had fol- 
lowed In the summer of 1919, or who had been privy to the machinations 
of Pohner and his Civic Guard associates in 1920 and 1921 would have 
accused the political police of fastidiousness. But after Pohner's 
departure, and more so after 1923, the procedural limitations were 
more carefully observed. With the coming of the Nazis, these limita- 
tions soon disappeared. The political policeman came to enjoy a 

much greater freedom to act as he saw fit in the battle against the 

T •.• 1 . . -, 78 
political criminal. 

The two most important components of this new freedom were the 

connection between the political police and the SS and the creation 

of the concentration camp system. The importance of the SS connection 

lay, in the first instance, in the freedom of movement it conferred 

upon Hlmmler. In his state capacity as Political Police Commander for 

Bavaria, Hiramler stood subordinate to Interior Minister Wagner and to 

Epp. In his capacity as Reichsfiihrer SS, however, Himmler was 

subordinate only to Rohm and to Hitler, and, after June 30, 1934, only 

to Hitler himself. Himmler proved himself adept at sliding back and 

forth between the two chains of command. If an order from his state 

superiors was unwelcome, he would put on his SS hat and proceed to 

evade it. Once Himmler had gained direct access to Hitler the process 

became even more simple — if he could secure the Fuhrer's backing for 



265 



a measure, he could ignore the complaints of anyone else. As the 
National Socialist state evolved, tiie I 'ulirer 's wilL became the liJghest 

law and the SS-l'oJice organization under Illmmler the instrument through 

79 
which this law was executed. This did not always mean that an order 

from the top translated into immediate action below. Martin, in 

Nuremberg, was quite capable of ignoring Himmler when this seemed 

likely to pass unnoticed by the Reichsfiihrer , a not uncommon occurrence 

80 
in Himmler 's sprawling SS and police empire. By the same token, 

however, Himmler 's subordinates were more than willing to use the new 
freedom granted by their special relationship to the SS. 

The concentration camp system might better be termed the "pro- 
tective custody" system, for it was the legal device of protective 
custody, or Schutzhaft , which formed the basis for the entire 
establishment. Protective custody had originally referred to the 
practice of taking an individual into police custody for his own 
personal protection. During the First World War, German police and 
military authorities began to employ protective custody as a device 

Q -1 

for removing political undesirables from circulation. In this new 
sense the device was well-suited to the needs of the army and Free 
Corps forces which brought order to Munich in 1919. In Bavaria the 
mass arrests of supporters of the Soviet Republic took place largely 
under the provisions of the protective custody law and other similar 
wartime devices. The Bavarian state of emergency decree, which 
continued in effect until 1921, permitted the continued use of 



266 



protective custody in political cases. One of the reasons given by 
Pohner for his resignation in 1921 had been that retraction of the 

Bavarian state of emergency decree deprived the police of the use of 

, 83 
protective custody. One of Kahr's first acts after being named 

General State Commissar in 1923 had been the promulgation of a new 

set of protective custody regulations. With these precedents it 

was only natural that the Nazis would have recourse to the device of 

protective custody in giving legal sanction to the wave of arrests 

which accompanied their takeover in 1933, 

The actual legal basis for the Nazi protective custody system 

was the presidential decree of February 4, 1933 and the "Law for the 

Defense of the People and State" of February 28, 1933. The first 

specifically authorized police detention of political suspects, in 

accordance with established state-of-emergency practice, while the 

second abolished the basic right of personal freedom protected under 

the Weimar constitution. Together these measures opened the door 

for a consistent policy of imprisonment without due process of law. 

During the first year of Nazi rule these laws governed the 

application of protective custody. On April 12, 1934, protective 

custody received its definitive legal formulation in a decree issued 

by Interior Minister Frick. The former Bavarian civil servant produced 

a document remarkably similar to that announced by Kahr on October 13, 

1923. The main features were the same. The political police agencies 

were authorized to issue protective custody warrants. The final review 



267 



instance was not a judicial authority, but the same executive agency 
wlilcli (ssLicd the warrants. In some of the provisions even the wording 
was virtually identical. Tlie most obvious differences had to do with 
conditions which had not existed in 1923 and primarily dealt with the 

application of protective custody to Nazi party members and other 

. , 86 

special groups. As time went by Himmler would make even the limited 

procedural restrictions of the April 1934 decree meaningless, 

exploiting the special SS-Police relationship to gain almost complete 

87 
freedom in the use of protective custody. The protective custody 

practices of 1945 would bear little relationship to the precedents 

set before 1933, but these precedents had real meaning in the transition 

years 1933 to 1936. 

The wave of arrests which followed the National Socialist takeover 
soon produced a quantity of protective custody prisoners far in 
excess of the capacity of established jails and prisons. In Bavaria, 
as in the other parts of Germany, the SA and SS set up their own 
ad hoc prisons, which came to be called concentration camps. These 
first establishments would later be termed "wild" concentration camps, 
to distinguish them from the more carefully organized institutions 
which would follow. These "wild" camps resembled in many respects 
the similarly ad hoc incarceration centers created in disused military 
facilities and public buildings in the spring and summer of 1919 to 
hold the supporters of the Soviet Republic. The brutal excesses which 
marked life in these camps also had their 1919 parallels. ^^ 



268 



The same need for a more ordered process of repression which led 
the Nazis to rein In the Storm Troopers after the first wave of arrests 
111 19'3'i produced measures to give order to tlie "wiJd" concentration 
camps. On March 13, 1933, Interior Minister Wagner wrote to his new 
cabinet colleague at the Ministry of Justice, Hans Frank, and recom- 
mended that, in view of the possibility of overcrowding in existing 
penal institutions, the government should have resort to the methods 
which had been used by the previous regime in its mass arrests of 
National Socialists. This had been, as Wagner recalled, "the use of 

any old empty building, regardless of whether it kept out the weather 

„89 
or not. The reference to the arrests which took place on and after 

November 9, 1923, was unmistakable — ironically, these were arrests 
made under Kahr's protective custody decree. The selective memory 
used by Wagner in citing this particular precedent was also significant. 
Having justified their seizure of power in Bavaria with the allegation 
that the old regime had not been sufficiently rigorous with the left, 
it would not have done for Wagner to cite the more obvious precedent 
of 1919. 

One of the first "wild" concentration camps had been set up in 
the village of Dachau, just north of Munich. The camp, created out 
of old factory buildings and empty barracks, had, according to a report 
by Himmler on March 20, 1933, a capacity of 5,000 prisoners. With 
the Ministry of the Interior decree of April 1, 1933 placing him in 
charge of all concentration camps in Bavaria, Himmler set about the 



269 



task of seeing that Dachau became an example of the new order's 
or^^anJzhiK skills. IJiulcr ijressure from Llie very Lop — llJtler lilmself, 
mind III!, of the need to mnuitain the cooperation of the conservative 
civil servants, the army, and, above all. President Hlndenburg, had 
called for an end to the "revolutionary" phase of the Nazi takeover — 
Himmler replaced the first commandant of Dachau with another of his 
SS subordinates, Theodor Elcke. Under Elcke, the earlier chaotic 
conditions were replaced by a no less severe, but more carefully ordered 

regimen. Elcke' s Dachau became the prototype for the entire concentra- 

90 
tion camp system. 

From the beginning Dachau was an SS establishment. Although it 
received funding from the state government and had an official status, 
its administration remained within the SS chain of command. Here 
again Himmler cleverly exploited his dual party-state status to 
create an institution outside the control of both his party and state 
superiors. With responsibility for the application of protective 
custody as political police commander, with the concentration camps 
controlled by the SS, and with the political police Itself abstracted 
from the normal chain of command, Himmler had fashioned a triangular 
system which enabled him to act without regard for any higher authority 
save that of Hitler liimself. Within this framework the political 

police became an offensive rather than a defensive Instrument in the 

91 
war against the enemies of the Nazi state. 

Throughout the year 1933-1934 the war against these enemies 

in Bavaria proceeded vigorously. Supported by the long and carefully 



270 



cultivated network of police informers, the political police smashed 

the Communist and Socialist party organizations in Munich, Nuremberg, 

92 
and tlie otlier cities of Bavaria. Attempts by the leftist parties to 

continue their operations underground proved fruitless; the political 

police were too powerful and their network of agents too skillfully 

placed. Even the apparent revival of the Communist underground in 

Munich after 1934 was a testimony to the power of the political police, 

for its prime movers were all too frequently police agents provocateurs , 

who with the connivance of their superiors promoted the expansion of 

the underground in order to draw the greatest possible number of 

93 
Communist sympathizers into the police dragnet. In the wake of the 

first major blows at the leftist parties the political police also 

undertook a major action against the BVP, with arrests of all leading 

members of that party. Most of those arrested were released again 

after only a few days protective custody — the BVP was not regarded 

by the Nazis as an enemy in the same sense as the left, and the arrests 

94 
were meant largely as a warning. The BVP leadership took the hint, 

and the party dissolved itself on July 4, 1933. 

Almost exactly one year later, on June 30, 1934, the political 

police went into action against an even more unlikely enemy of the 

state: the SA. The "Rohm revolt" of June 1934 was the last act in 

the consolidation of Hitler's power. The SA had been the most 

revolutionary element in the Nazi ranks, the one most committed to 

the eradication of the old order in Germany. Having made, in effect, an 



271 



alliance with that old order. Hitler could not meet the demands for 
power, positions, and influence which animated the ranks and the 
lendcrshlp of tlie SA without provoking; an unwanted conflict witli his 
new allies. The attempts to rein in the SA of March and April 1933 
had been the first shots in the developing battle between the party 
leaders and Rohm's Storm Troopers. Throughout the following year the 
situation became more difficult. Having entrenched themselves in 
important state positions, important Nazis such as Goring and Frick 
saw their authority being subverted by the SA and began to make common 
cause against Rohm. Later Himmler joined them, jockeying for a 
position which would free his SS from Rohm's authority and remove the 
last major obstacles to his own ambitions. Together, Goring, Frick, 
and Himmler managed to convince Hitler that Rohm was planning a revolt 
against the Nazi party. After wavering right up to the last minute — 
Rohm was an old friend of the party's "days of struggle" — Hitler 
finally was persuaded to act. The result was the "Blood Purge" of 
June 30, 1934, in which Rohm and the SA leadership, along with other 
old enemies of the regime, including Gustav von Kahr, were murdered 
by the SS. Although the SS bore the main burden, members of the BPP's 
Fuhrerschutzkommando assisted them in the action against Rohm himself. 

In the aftermath there were rewards for all. The political 
policemen who had assisted in the massacre received immediate promotion 
from Himmler. Goring and Frick were delivered from a dangerous rival 
for power. But both would later rue the day that they had made common 



272 



cause with Himmler, for in delivering themselves from Rohm, they had 
served the fortunes of n more dangerous rival. Himmler and the SS 
were the main henef iciaries of June 30, 1934. The SS was rewarded with 

its independence from the SA, and was set upon the course which would 

97 
make it the most powerful single institution in Nazi Germany. 

Even before this Himmler had laid the foundations for his future 

position in Germany. Building upon his Bavarian base, Himmler had 

expanded his control of the political police to embrace all of 

Germany. By June 2, 1934, he had succeeded in convincing the state 

authorities in all the states save Prussia to make him commander of 

the political police. In Prussia he convinced Goring, who held the 

post of Minister-President of that state, to make him his deputy and 

chief of the political police in Prussia, Goring, burdened by his 

many other offices and perhaps over-confident in the face of the 

apparently insignificant Himmler, had in effect made over control of 

the political police in Prussia to Himmler. Himmler thus united in 

his person the command of all the political police forces in Germany. 

Using the Prussian Secret State Police Office ( Geheimes Staatspolizeiamt , 

or Gestapa ) as his base, Himmler set up a central office for himself 

as the "Political Police Commander for the States." Although the 

political police remained technically under Individual state authority, 

Hiraraler had achieved de facto nationwide centralization under his own 

leadership. 

In making their move to the center of power in Berlin, Himmler 

and Heydrich were accompanied by a large number of Bavarian political 



273 



police officers, many of whom would assume positions of leadership in 

99 
the Prussian and later tlie Reicli Gestapo structure. Tlic "Bavarian 

Kroup" under lleydrich and Muller liecame, In effect, a leadership 
cadre for the entire Gestapo. Muller himself became the head of the 
Gestapo, the most powerful and influential policeman in the Third 
Reich. 

In Bavaria itself political developments continued along their 
prescribed course. On February 1, 1936, a Ministry of the Interior 
decree reorganized the counterespionage police, integrating the 
counterespionage sections of the political police in the Police 
Directories Augsburg, Nuremberg-Fiirth, Regensburg, and Wiirzburg 
formally into the BPP central office's counterespionage force. The 
decree was, explicitly, an extension of the first major centralization 
decree in this field implemented on March 16, 1923.' 

The final basic change in the status of the Bavarian political 
police came later in 1936. On June 17 Hitler decreed the amalgamation 
of Himmler's party position as Reichsfiihrer SS with the specially 
established state position of Chief of the German Police. This 
amalgamation united the police in Germany — and not just the political 
police — with the SS. It formalized Himmler's existing position as 
Political Police Commander of the States, but on a new level. For 
the police forces of Germany were taken from the control of the 



*See Chapter 3, pp. 144-14! 



274 



states and placed under a single Reich authority — this was the 
meaning of II Jinniler ' s title, Chief of tlie German Police. Although 
nominally subordinate to Interior Minister Frick as police chief, 
Himmler was also directly subordinate to Hitler as Relchsfiihrer SS. 

The latter relationship deprived Frick of any meaningful control over 

102 
Himmler and his police-SS organization. The party police force had 

been combined with the state police force and, although the marriage 

of SS and police would not be untroubled, it ultimately made Himmler, 

after Hitler, the most powerful man in Germany. 

The nationalization and centralization of the German police made 

potentates of such figures as Himmler, Heydrich, and Miiller. It made 

police organization in Germany uniform. In the realm of the political 

police it meant the formal extension of the Prussian term "Gestapo" 

to cover all political police agencies in Germany. But what did it 

actually change within the states themselves? 

The basic principles enunciated in the decree of June 17, 1936 

were applied to Bavaria through two further decrees in September 

1936 and July 1937. Under these decrees the BPP and the political 

section of the PDM — the PDM had retained a rump political police 

force after the separation of Department VI to form the BPP in 1933 — 

became the Gestapo Main Office Munich ( Staatspolizeileitstelle Miinchen ) . 

The political departments of the police directories in Augsburg, 

Nuremberg, Regensburg, and wiirzburg were separated from their respective 

police directories and given an independent existence as Gestapo 



275 



Offices ( Staatspolizeistellen ) . Thus, Department II of the PDN-F 
hocame the Gestapo Office in Nuremberg, and so on. The political 
departments in Ka i sers 1 au tern, Speyer, and Zweibriicken were Integrated 
with the larger political department of the Police Director Ludwigshafen 
as the Gestapo Office for the Rhine Palatinate. Each of the newly- 
established Gestapo Offices was responsible for all political police 
matters within the province in which it was located. Those provinces 
without a Gestapo Office were assigned to the authority of one of their 
neighbors. The Gestapo Office in Regensburg, for example, took 
responsibility for both Lower Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate. The 
Gestapo Main Office in Munich functioned simultaneously as a regular 
political police office for Munich-Upper Bavaria and as the central 
office for all Gestapo operations in the state. The Bavarian Gestapo, 
in turn, was directed from Gestapo headquarters in Berlin by Heydrich 
and Muller. 

Locally, however, these changes made little real difference. 
In Munich, the Gestapo Main Office was to all intents and purposes 
a continuation of the BPP, which had been a continuation of PDM VI. 
In Nuremberg, the formal separation of the Gestapo from the PDN-F 
likewise altered little. Despite Heydrich's desire to make the Gestapo 
offices independent of local power relations and responsive to Berlin, 
Martin succeeded in getting himself appointed head of the new Gestapo 
Office Nuremberg, thereby preserving through a personal union the tie 
between the regular police and the political police. Similar 



276 



arrangements linked the Gestapo with the regular police In Augsburg 

lOA 
and Regensburg. The dally pattern of operations went largely 

unchanged, and the local Gestapo Offices persisted In responding to 

local conditions as much as to directives from Berlin, Nazi directives 

against the Catholic church frequently went without notice in 

Augsburg, because the local head of the Gestapo, an old policeman 

by the name of Hugo Gold, was himself a devout church member. 

Martin's evasions in Nuremberg have already been discussed. Such 

noncompliance was not uniform; many orders could not be easily evaded, 

and other orders were accepted willingly by the local offices. Neither 

Martin nor Gold, for example, showed any hesitation in pursuing the 

traditional struggle against the left. Only with the coming of 

the war, with its manifold disruptions of the normal pattern of 

existence, would the routines sanctioned by decades of experience be 

substantially altered. 

The most significant difference between pre-1933 and post-1933 

practice lay in the greater independence from procedural restrictions 

given to the political police and the progressively greater number of 

offenses which came under their purview. The most obvious examples 

of this extension of political police activity came as a consequence 

107 
of the anti-Jewish legislation. The dramatic organizational changes 

at the national level, the grand consolidations through which Heydrich 

hoped to create a new National Socialist police force, had a much 

more limited impact at the local level. Habits built over the course 



277 



of years died slowly, if at all. The various organizational changes 

made for neafer table of organization charts, perhaps, but the flesh 

and blood cliaracters who made the organization live could not be 

changed so quickly. 

Where the Nazis could benefit from established practices and 

attitudes, as in the persecution of the left, the political police 

instrument proved responsive from the very first. The major leftist 

groups in Bavaria were all smashed beyond repair by the end of 1934, 

long before any changes in the political police system had shown any 

real effect. But where the Nazis had to work against these established 

practices and attitudes, the political police proved less ready to 

1 no 
respond. Only gradually would the Nazi police state assume the 

form it would ultimately carry into the popular imagination. Dachau 

in 1934 was a way station to the Auschwitz of 1943, but it more nearly 

resembled its 1919 predecessors. 

The changes which took place in the Bavarian political police in 

1933 and after were evolutionary rather than revolutionary in nature. 

The lines of continuity between pre-1933 and post-1933 organization, 

personnel, and practice were readily apparent; even the noteworthy 

changes after 1933 had their precedents in the Weimar era, particularly 

in the troubled early years of the Weimar republic. The attitudes of 

the political policemen, attitudes which would guide their behavior 

under the Nazis, bore the imprint of the progressive "militarization of 

politics" characteristic of the Weimar period. The murder of 



278 



political enemies by right-wing groups, supported by the political 
police in 1919-1921, lieJped prepare political policemen to accept 
what happened to their prisoners after they were delivered to concen- 
tration camps. The use of protective custody in the same period 
helped prepare policemen for a double standard of justice, one law 
for the political ally and one for the political enemy, as did the 
biased proceedings within the Weimar judicial. 

The brutalities of 1919 helped pave the way for the brutalities 
of 1933, as these did for the brutal system which grew up in Germany. 
The horrors of Nazi rule did not arise from some innate German 
depravity, nor did they spring into existence overnight. They were, 
instead, part of a larger, slowly-developing process of conditioning, 
a process marked with many way stations. The Gestapo man did not 
suddenly become a vicious killer. Some, like Martin, gradually became 
"desk-killers," and even then with an obvious ambivalence. Others, 
like Ottomar Otto or Heinrich Muller, became "bloodhounds" or "radical 
enforcers." Martin was always a maneuverer, whether intriguing with 
Julius Streicher in the 1920' s or against him in the 1930's. Otto, the 
Free Corps man of 1919 in Munich, took then his first steps toward 
becoming the "bloodhound" of Nuremberg. And Muller 's tendencies to 
excess in his actions against the left as part of the old PDM formed 
a behavioral basis for his "radical enforcement" as the head of the 
Gestapo. In Bavaria the roots of the Nazi police state lay in the 
years of crisis following the First World War. The molding experiences 



279 



of these years and the molding influence of such men as Gareis, 
Scliachinger, l^rlck, and, perhaps alcove all, Ernst Polincr shaped the 
I)olitical police tlirouj'Ji tlie crucial first years of the Third Reich. 

The example set by Pohner did not go unrecognized. In January 1938 
a bronze memorial tablet was placed in his honor at the headquarters 
building of the Munich police. Interior Minister Wagner had ordered 
the memorial. Upon hearing of the gesture, Heinrich Himmler insisted 
that his office assume its cost. Himmler knew very well the debt he 
owed to Pohner. In honoring Ernst Pohner, the National Socialist 
regime offered a model of behavior to a new generation of policemen 
and paid tribute to the man who, more than any other single individual, 
laid the foundations of the Gestapo system in Bavaria. 



280 



Notes 

Interior Minister Stiitzel to Dr. Georg Heim, Dec. 18, 1931, MA 
100 A 25. 

^Ibid. 

3 
Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch , p. 47. 

4 
See "Zusammenfassender Bericht der Polizeidirektion Miinchen an 

die Staatsanwaltschaf t Miinchen I iiber die Umsturzbewegung in Miinchen 

1919," StAnw. Mii. I 3124; the collection of documents relating to the 

trial of Paul Grassl, secretary to the Soviet Police President, in 

StAnw. Mii. I 2513; Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria , pp. 199-210, 267, 

281; Schwarze, Die bayerische Polizei , pp. 16-20. 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 156-157. 

See Chapter 3, pp. 159-161, 

The screening process is reflected in the various Ministry of 
the Interior Verstaatlichung collections. See M Inn 71887, 71888, 
71891, 71892. 

Q 

Ibid, for the role of the PDN-F in influencing the later Police 
Directories. 

9 
For the differences between the Bavarian approach and that of 

the other states, see Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , p. 192. 

10„ , , 

Bernreuther 's connection with Max Neunzert and the Civic Guard 

is discussed in Chapter 2, above, pp. 94-98. See also the discussion 
of illegal PDM activities in Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradi- 
kalismus , pp. 140-141. Fenske bases this discussion in part upon a 
later disciplinary action taken against Friedrich Bernreuther and 
other officers of the PDM. The file on this case, M Inn 73702, is not 
open to non-German scholars, on the grounds that the State Archive 
cannot exercise control over publications outside Germany. I am none- 
theless indebted to Dr. Josef Lauchs of the Bavarian State Archives 
for discussing with me in general terms the contents of the file. 

See "Auszug aus der Niederschrif t iiber die 46. Sitzung des 
Ausschusses fiir den Staatshaushalt am 26. February 1925," M Inn 71885. 



281 



12 



Grieser, llimmlers Mann In Number^ , pp. 3-5. 



13 



Thid, pp. 62-63. 



1/. 



Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch, pp. 527-528. 



15 



Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Niirnberg , pp. 310-311. 



1 fi 

Ibid. See also M Inn to Chamber of the Interior, Government of 
Middle Franconia, March 31, 1924, and PDN-F/II to Police Director 
Gareis, Oct, 15, 1931, both Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/328. 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , pp. 192-195, 253-263. 

1 8 

Ibid. See also Fenske, Konservativlsmus und Rechtsradi kalismus. 
pp. 308-312. ~~ 



19 



Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 202-204, 



20 



Hambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP , pp. 347-357. 



21 



Ibid. 



22 



Ibid. See also Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , pp. 261-262, 



23 



Ibid. 



pp. 



24^,. 



Ibid. See also the discussion of Verstaatlichung in Chapter 4, 



25 



Ibid. 



96 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 274-276. 



27 



Ibid, pp. 279-282, 



28 



Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 259-260, 



29, 



Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschlchte der NS-Machtiibernahm e in Bayern 
pp. 110-120, ] 27-128^ ~~ 



282 



31 

PD l.tidwiRslinfcn to the Chamber of the Interior, Covornnient of 

tlie Rhine I'a la t in.i tc, July I A , .l.'JJA, M Inn 7J96fi. In this report Antz 

describes the results of a campaign against the Comniunlsts begun 

In 1930; Helmut Beer, Wlderstand gegen den Nationalsozlallsmus in 

Nilrnberg, 1933-1945 (Nuremberg, 1976), pp. 53-59. 

32 

Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtiibernahme i n Bayern, 
pp. 120-127, 165-167! " 

33 

Ibid, pp. 127-138, 160-16A. The reference to the use of the 

term "Fuhrer" — a word whose import was obvious in German political 
discourse in 1933 — is from p. 189. 

34 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , pp. 261-263. 

35„. 

Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Mach tiibernahme in Bayern, 
pp. 185-197. ~ ~ ~ 

^^Ibid. 

^^Ibid, pp. 206-228. 

oo 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , pp. 302-307. 

39 

The discussion of Held's meeting with Hitler is based upon a 

stenographic transcript of the meeting made by the Baron von Imhoff, 
Bavaria's Reichsrat representative, who was present with Held in the 
meeting. This transcript is reproduced in full in Wiesemann, Die 
Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtiibernahme in Bayern , pp. 294-301. Schwend, 
Bayern zwischen Monarchie und Diktatur , pp. 524-527, cites passages 
from this document, but suppresses other passages which suggest Held's 
willingness to cooperate with Hitler. See also Benz, Poli tik in 
Bayern , pp. 271-272. 

40^ 

Ortwm Domrose, Der NS-Staat in Bayern , pp. 64-65. 

'^"'"Ibid, pp. 62-74. 

42 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , p. 309. 



283 



43 

Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtubernahme in Bayern , 

pp. 272-283; nomrosc, Dor N S- Staa t in Bayern. pp. 68-80. 

A d(!scrlpt:ion of the incidenL liy one of the SA men Involved Is 
cited in Ludccke, 1 Knew Hitler , p. 603. 

45 

Prldham, Hitler's Rise to Power , p. 309. 

46 

Heinz Hohne, The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of 

Hitler's SS . trans, by Richard Barry (London. 1969), pp. 26-38. 44-46. 

See also Bradley F. Smith, Heinrich Himmler: A Nazi in the Making. 

1900-1926 (Stanford, 1971), pp. 134, 152. 

47 .. 

Hohne, The Order of the Death's Head , pp. 12-26, 46-47. 

48 

Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo 

und SD , pp. 11-38, 55-65, 98-101. 

49 

Domrose, Der NS-Staat in Bayern , pp. 71-90. The Catholic 

newspaper attacked by the Nazis was "Der gerade Weg," a paper not 

connected to the BVP. Indeed, when after 1930 this paper began to 

advocate an alliance with the Social Democrats as the only means of 

protecting the church against Nazism, it was attacked in the BVP 

press for deviation from the anti-socialist course. See Wiesemann, 

Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtiibernahme in Bayern , p. 94. 

Domrose, Der NS-Staat in Bayern , pp. 90-91. 

""■Ibid, pp. 80-89. 

^^Ibid, pp. 83-86. 

53 

M Inn decree, April 1, 1933, MA 105 634. 

Ibid. 

M Inn to Reich Ministry of the Interior. May 28, 1934, M Inn 
71469. Tlie classic example of a Bavarian political policeman who had 
won a reputation for anti-Nazi sentiment before 1933 and yet managed a 
successful career under Himmler and Heydrich was that of Franz-Josef 
Huber. Huber eventually became head of the Gestapo in Vienna. See BDC: 
SS Personalakte Huber, and Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die 
.rjJlflt)ril'l!l'i}Jit.^l_Yiin Jl£i^t''P"_J'ncl_Ji^ PP- 97, 321-322. 



284 



56 

For the relationship between the BPP and the PDM and the 

rocruitnu'nt oF additionnl RP? personnel from tlio latter, soo the nVV 

file on personnel matters, M Inn 71469. 

■>? 

Hernreuther in Regensburg, like Carels and Scliachinger in 

Nuremberg, disappeared into the general state administration. 

58 

Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Fruhgeschichte von Gestapo 

und SD , pp. 95-98. 

59 

Ibid, pp. 110-113. See also Edward N. Peterson, The Limits of 

Hitler's Power (Princeton, 1969), pp. 78-81. 

BDC: SS Personalakte MUller. 

■Hambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP , pp. 398-401. 

"ibid. 

M Inn to the Chamber of the Interior, Government of Upper and 
Middle Franconia, March 22, 1933, M Inn 71885. 

64 

Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nurnberg , pp. 55-62. 

Ibid, pp. 162-196. 

66^ . , 

Curriculum vitae of Benno Martin, BDC: SS Personalakte Martin. 

Ibid. 

68 

Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nurnberg , pp. 62-65. 

Ibid. 

70^ . , . . 

Curriculim vitae of Benno Martin, BDC: SS Personalakte Martin. 

71 

Clipping, Frankischer Kurier , March 1, 1934, in BDC: SS 

Personalakte Martin. 



285 



^Ibid, pp. 256-267. 



Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Niirnberg , pp. 162-196. 
73, 



74 

Ibid, pp. 100-111, 296-304. 

For Greiner's role in Verstaatlichung , see M Inn to the Police 
President, Nuremberg, Oct. 8, 1930, M Inn 71893; for Grafenberger and 
Otto, see M Inn to the Chamber of the Interior, Government of Middle 
Franconia, March 31, 1924, and PDN-F/II to Police Director Gareis, 
Oct. 15, 1931, both Reg. v. Mfr. , Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/328. For general 
biographical sketches, see Greiser, Himm lers Mann in Niirnberg, pp. 305- 
312. 

76 

Police Director Antz in Ludwigshafen proved himself, in the 
opinion of Interior Minister Wagner, "irreplaceable." See Interior 
Minister Adolf Wagner to Minister President Ludwig Siebert, July 12, 
1934, MA 106 294. 

For the impact of normal attrition, see the personnel material 
in M Inn 71469. 

Domrose, Der NS-Staat in Bayern , pp. 83-84. 

79 

Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo 
und_SD, pp. 98-106; Buchheim, "The SS— Instrument of Domination," 
pp. 127-140, 151-156, 188-203. 

80^ . 

Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nurnberg , pp. 300-301. 

Martin Broszat, "The Concentration Camps, 1933-1934," trans, 
by Marian Jackson, in Helmut Krausnick, Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat, 
and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Anatomy of the SS State , p. 401. 

Ibid. 

83„ „ . . , 

Benz, Politik in Bayern , p. 87. 

84 

General State Commissar to the provincial governments, the PDM, 
and the State Police Office Nuremberg-Fur th, Oct. 13, 1923, GSK 7. 



286 



Broszat, "The Concentration Camps," pp. 401-A20. 

K.ilir's dfrrcc Is cited under 8^^ above. For the text of Prick's 
decree, see M Inn to the Political Police Commander for Ikivaria et al . , 
May 2, 1934, MA 106 301. Discussions of the special consideration 
shown members of certain groups are found in Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich 
und die Fruhgeschichte von Gestapo und SD , pp. 118-121, and Heike 
Bretschneider, Der Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus in Munchen 
von 1933-1945 (Munich, 1968), p. 8-11. 

87 

Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo 
und SD , pp. 103-105. 

QQ 

Ibid. For the comparison with 1919, see Hillmayr, Roter und 
Weisser Terror , pp. 123-131. 

89 

Ibid, p. 104. 

^°Ibid, pp. 103-133. 

91 

Ibid. The concept of the SS-police-concentration camp triangle 

is Aronson' s single most notable contribution and is vital to an 

understanding of the Nazi system of repression. 

92 

Bretschneider, Der Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus 

in Munchen , pp. 22-37, 48-73, 90-134; Beer, Widerstand gegen den 

Nationalsozialismus in Nilrnberg , pp. 75-139, 152-210, 222-235. The 

political police perspective on the early resistance to Nazism is 

reflected in the situation reports collected in MA 104 990. 

93 

Bretschneider, ibid, pp. 61-62. 

94 

Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Fruhgeschichte von Gestapo und 
SD, pp. 116-117. 

95 

Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power , p. 316. 

96 •• 

Domrose, Der NS-Staat in Bayern , pp. 153-177. 

97 

PPKB to M Inn, July 6, 1934, M Inn 71469. 



287 



98 

Buchhelm, "The SS— Instrument of Domination," pp. 145-156. 

99 

"Namentliche Verzeichnls, 25.6.1935, mannliche Personal 

BesehaftlKt in tier preiisslsclien Gestapo, Cestajia, unci helm Stellvertret , 

Chef u. Tnspk. (ler Cestapo," BI)C: Atke "PoHzei, Costapo, SI) " 

100, 

Aronson, Reinhard Heydrlch und die Fruhgeschichte v on Gestapo 
und_SD, pp. 228-233^ 

M Inn decree, February 1, 1936, Gestapo, 10. 

102 

Buchheim, "The SS — Instrument of Domination," pp. 157-166. 

103 

Reichsfuhrer SS and Chief of German Police to Minister 

President Ludwig Siebert, Sept. 26, 1936; RFSSuChDtPol. decree, 

July 15, 1937, both in MA 106 286. 

104^ . 

Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nurnberg , pp. 100-107. For the 

relationships in Augsburg and Regensburg see the collections in, 

respectively, M Inn 71887 and M Inn 71891. 

105„ 

Peterson, The Limits of Hitler's Power , pp. 377-378. See 
also BDC: SS Personalakte Gold. 

Ibid. 

Buchheim, "The SS— Instrument of Domination," pp. 127-140 
188-203. 

108^ 

Recall again the discussion of Martin's posture. 

109 

Diehl, Paramilitary Politi cs in Weimar Germany, pp. 3-22 
276-292. "^ ~ 

110 

For Muller as a "radical enforcer," see George C. Browder, "The 
SD: The Significance of Organization and Image," in George Mosse, ed . , 
Police Forces in History (London, 1975), pp. 216-217. 

lllo 

See the correspondence on this sub-ject, January 27, 1938 to 

February 21, 1938, M Inn 71999. 



CONCLUSIONS 

Germany's defeat in 1918 and the revolutionary events of the 
months from November 1918 to April 1919 gave birth in Munich to a 
counterrevolutionary radical right-wing movement of great vigor and 
widespread popular appeal. This movement itself was not monolithic; 
it contained many different groups, which differed, sometimes 
violently, on specific issues. These groups, however, were united 
in their hostility to the new republic and to the political left. The 
Nazi party, in the first years of its existence, was but one element 
in this larger radical right-wing movement. The radical right in 
Bavaria drew its strength from the popular reaction against the left 
following the experience of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, a popular 
reaction compounded of the fears of many social groups that a revival 
of the Soviet Republic would destroy all that they held dear. 

The Soviet Republic had been repressed by a combination of army 
and Free Corps troops. After May 1919 the army continued to be a 
decisive force in the local politics of the state. The Free Corps 
element passed into the radical right through such organizations as 
the Civic Guard and the Organisation Consul , among many radical 
paramilitary and political organizations. This element, too, in 
tandem with their former colleagues of the army, exerted a strong 
influence upon politics in Bavaria. 



2HH 



289 



The appointment of Ernst Pohner to head the Pollzeldlrektion 
Munclicn , the most important police organization in tlie state, was a 
product of tills military and radical riglit-wlng influence — in 1919 
tlie two amounted to much the same thing. The regime initiated by 
Pohner within the PDM was a direct extension of this influence, and 
represented a first step in systematizing the counterrevolutionary 
response to the threat from the left. Pohner, from the very beginning, 
was a leading figure of the Bavarian radical right, and, under his 
leadership, the political police in Munich functioned as part of the 
counterrevolutionary alliance. With the support or indulgence of the 
political police, radical right parties flourished in Munich. The 
enemies of the radical right, in contrast, confronted the political 
police as an instrument of political repression. Where repression 
could not be exerted through legal means, including even the extra- 
ordinary powers conferred upon the political police by the prevailing 
stpte of emergency decree, the repression was effected through illegal 
measures. The terror and intimidation visited upon the enemies of 
the radical right met with the covert cooperation and support of the 
political police. The combination of direct police repression and 
this "indirect police terror" during the Pohner years helped fortify 
Bavaria's position as the "cell of order" within the German republic, 
the base where the enemies of the republic were to gather their 
strength for the coming confrontation. Under Pohner the political 
police did not simply support the radical right; it was, in effect, 
a part of the radical right. 



290 



The imprint of Pohner and of like-minded police colleagues such 
a.s lleinrlch Cards in Nuremberg ensured a right-wLn}-, bias wltliin Clie 
emerging political police system in Bavaria, Even after 1923, when 
the moderate right-wing BVP moved to the forefront in Bavarian 
politics, this bias within the system persisted. The process of 
centralization and expansion, evident in such measures as the decree 
creating a statewide political intelligence service and the Verstaat- 



lichung of the police in the various major cities of Bavaria dispersed 
this bias throughout the entire political police structure. These 
same organizational changes made the political police a more efficient 
instrument of repression. 

With the Nazi takeover in 1933, the political police system in 
Bavaria became the servant of the new political order. Prepared by 
their previous experiences under Pohner, Gareis, and others, the 
Bavarian political policemen quickly proved themselves capable and 
effective agents of the Nazi regime. Particularly in its first phase, 
when the focus of effort was upon the repression of the left, the 
political policeman could view his work under the Nazis as an extension 
of his earlier efforts. Even such apparently novel measures as pro- 
tective custody and the establishment of concentration camps had 
their precedents in the recent experience of the Bavarian political 
policeman, as did the brutality of the new regime. Officers accustomed 
to cooperating with the political murders perpetrated by the old 
Civic Guard or the Organisation Consul had an experimental basis for 



291 



cooperation in the new brutalities of tlie Nazi SA and SS. When the 
Nazis moved against other groups, however, groups which Iiad not been 
on the traditional ]jst of rlglit-wing enemies, tlic political police 
were frequently less enthusiastic in their cooperation, as illustrated 
by the case of Martin in Nuremberg. In the most basic sense, the 
political police system had a life of its own. At the local level 
it remained much as it had been before 1933. Where the values of the 
system coincided with those of the Nazi movement — and this was true 
of many areas — the system worked effectively for the Nazis. But only 
gradually did it become an integral part of the new order. Viewed 
from the local level, the changes within the political police system 
which took place after 1933 were evolutionary rather than revolutionary. 
The political police in Bavaria worked well with the Nazi regime 
because the two were both products of the same set of political 
experiences after 1919. 

Historians have come increasingly to view the Nazi movement, 
particularly in its early years, but also later, as part of a much 
broader radical right-wing movement in Germany after the First World 
War. Nazism's ultimate success came about, at least in part, because 
Hitler understood how to place himself and his party at the head of 
this broader movement. The developments which shaped the political 
police in Bavaria made it, as an institution, a part of this movement 
as well. The very breadth of the movement, however, meant that it 
contained many contradictions and rivalries. These contradictions and 



292 



rivalries became characteristic of the Third Reich, as they had been 
characteristic of the right-wing movement in its rise to power. These 
same contradictions were evident wltliin tlie political police system 
after 1933 and in the relations between this system and the Nazi party 
and state. The Nazi takeover in 1933 represented the triumph of the 
German radical right in its fourteen-year struggle against the Weimar 
republic and the legacy of the revolution of 1918. The political 
police in Bavaria had shared in this struggle. With victory, the 
political police became the guardians of the new order. Despite its 
totalitarian pretensions, however, the new order was scarcely mono- 
lithic or unified in its political aims. Within this framework of 
conflicting political goals and competition for power, the political 
police continued along its own institutional course. It changed under 
the impact of Nazi rule and its role progressively expanded. These 
changes, nonetheless, never amounted to a clean break with the past. 
In contrast to the revolutions which involved a radical break with the 
existing order and in common with other "counterrevolutionary" 
revolutions of the 20th Century, the Nazi revolution combined specific 
changes with the accentuation of pre-existent patterns. This process 
was never more evident than in the case of the political police in 
Bavaria. 



BTBLTOGRAPHTC ESSAY 



This inquiry into the organizational role and development of the 
Bavarian political police grew out of a general interest in the issues 
posed by the political police as an institution of the modern state 
and the specific challenge posed by the historical example of the Nazi 
police state. This interest first led me to one of the best-known 
and most highly regarded studies of the political police in Nazi 
Germany, Shlomo Aronson's Reinhard Heydrich und die Friihgeschichte 
von Gestapo und SD . As his main purpose, Aronson analyzed the role of 
Reinhard Heydrich in the early development of the Nazi system of 
domination. Heydrich 's first official position in Nazi Germany was 
that of political police director in Munich. Within a matter of weeks 
Heydrich and his direct superior, Henrich Himmler, had consolidated 
in their own hands control of all the political police agencies within 
Bavaria. Bavaria became the base from which these two men would 
launch their ultimately successful campaign for mastery of the 
political police in all of Germany. 

Recognizing the importance of this Bavarian stage in Heydrich 's 
and Himmler's police careers, Aronson devoted an entire chapter to 
explaining just why and how this episode contributed to the overall 
development of the Gestapo system. Aronson contrasts the course of 
events in Bavaria under Himmler and Heydrich with that in Prussia under 



293 



294 



Hermann Goring and Rudolf Diels, Goring's political police chief. 
In Prussia, argued Aronson, the period after the Nazi seizure of power 
was marked by a basic administrative, personal, and legal continuity. 
In Bavaria, he contended, Himmler and Heydrich made a clean break with 
the past in administrative and legal terms; only in the personal sphere 
did the Bavarian political police demonstrate a continuity with the 
preceding era. Bavaria, according to Aronson, was the scene of the 
first National Socialist revolution in the realm of the political 
police . 

Aronson's analysis, however, immediately raised a question of 
plausibility. In explaining why Himmler and Heydrich retained many 
experienced political policemen in their Bavarian system, Aronson 
drew attention to the two Nazi leaders' inability to run an efficient 
political police system without expert help. This was convincing; 
neither Himmler nor Heydrich had any special training or qualifications 
which suited them for the highly sophisticated and specialized task of 
running a modern political police agency. But the professional 
experts upon whom they depended were products of the pre-Nazi Bavarian 
political police system, and their expertise was accumulated within 
the administrative and legal structures of that system. How, then, 
could one depend upon experts and yet make a decisive break tjith all 
that had given these experts their special knowledge? 

Another question arose in considering Aronson's treatment of the 
personal careers of these experts. Aronson singled out two figures 



295 



for special study, Heinrich Mtiller and Franz Josef Huber. Aronson 
made much oT the Fact that neltlior of tlicse men liad any particular 
personal or ideological affinity for the Nazi movement. Yet both men 
had outstanding careers within the Gestapo. What disposed such men, 
with no commitment to Nazism, to place their professional skills at 
the service of the Nazi regime, in an area where few of the worst 
features of that regime could be overlooked, indeed, an area where 
these men would contribute to the formulation of these worst features 
directly? Confined to the cases of Miiller and Huber, this question 
would be a matter for a biographer, perhaps a psycho-historian. The 
answers ventured by Aronson fell into this category. In his treatment 
Miiller and Huber emerged as dedicated careerists, indifferent about 
the regime they served so long as it rewarded their services. This 
explanation may have sufficed for these two men, but it clearly would 
not do to explain the motivations of the hundreds of other professional 
political policemen who placed themselves in the service of Nazism. 
Careerism might have been widespread among them; at the very least, 
many might have felt the desire to maintain a secure and, in many 
ways, comfortable job in troubled times. By itself, however, this 
answer was unstaisfying. Were there, perhaps, patterns of administra- 
tive and legal continuity which would have eased this transition and 
which had escaped Aronson 's purview? Were there aspects of the pre- 
1933 Bavarian political environment which might have made service under 
the Nazis less than repugnant? 



296 



Those various questions led to a wider search for answers con- 
cerning the pre-J933 role of the political |)ol ice in Uavuria and In 
Cermany as a whole. Sucli answers proved to he not readily rorthconilng. 
Hans Buchheim's "The SS — Instrument of Domination," a standard work 
on the subject of the SS and Gestapo system, was found to contain only 
a summary treatment, confined to little more than two pages, of the 
political police in Germany before 1933. Hsi-Huey Liang's The Berlin 
Police Force in the Weimar Republic likewise offered relatively li-tle 
information on the political police. The only secondary source which 
provided any real insight into the role and practices of the political 
police in Bavaria prior to 1933 was Harold J. Gordon, Jr.'s Hitler 
and the Beer Hall Putsch , which contained a summary discussion of the 
Bavarian police at the time of the putsch. But even Gordon's discussion 
concentrated primarily upon the LaPo, and gave only general information 
about the political police. 

These unanswered questions led to me decision to investigate the 
history of the Bavarian political police in a dissertation. Of neces- 
sity, the work had to be based largely upon primary sources. One 
Important collection, the NSDAP Hauptarchiv , which contained many 
political police records from Bavaria, could be examined on microfilm 
in the United States. These records, however, provided more insight 
into the actual operations of the political police than into its 
organization. The organizational questions would have to be answered 
first, before these operational insights could be properly evaluated. 



297 



During fifteen montlis of researcli in German archives, above all tlie 
Bavarian State Archives in Municli ( Bayer isches llauptstaatsarchiv , 
Staatsarchiv fur Obcrbayern ) and in Nuremberg ( Staatsarchiv Nurnberg ) , 
I first addressed myself to these organizational questions. The files 
of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior proved immediately 
useful in this area. The most important single collection for the 
political police, however, was uncovered in Nuremberg. This file, 
Reg. V. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228, contained many of the basic 
documents relating to the creation of the political intelligence 
service in Bavaria after 1919. The file consists of duplicates of 
these basic documents sent to the government of Middle Franconia — 
the originals, which would have belonged within the Ministry of the 
Interior files in Munich, were presumably lost or destroyed. 

Questions of personnel were less-readily answered, for the personal 
files of government officials remain, in contrast to most other 
material from this period, closed to research; there are only 
occasional exceptions to this rule. A partial solution to this 
problem was found through the examination of SS personnel files at 
the Berlin Document Center, an archive administered by the U.S. State 
Department and open to scholars. The files, however, were useful 
only In the cases of those political policemen who later made careers 
within the SS. Several survivors of the Weimar era political police 
system were located; none of them, however, were willing to be inter- 
viewed. The death of Benno Martin, an important political police figure 



298 



who had permitted interviews with scholars, made the work of his 
biographer, Utho Grieser's Himmlers Mann in Niirnberg: Per Fall Benno 
Martin , a secondary work of particular importance. Unfortunately, hut 
not surprisingly, no personal or private papers for Ernst Pohner could 
be located; Pohner was not the kind of man to leave such items behind. 
Operational questions were answered through the use of the afore- 
mentioned NSDAP Hauptarchiv , the situation reports of the PDM and the 
PDN-F, and a variety of other materials from these and other Bavarian 
police and government agencies found in Munich and Nuremberg. 
Materials from the Bundesarchiv Koblenz contributed to my understanding 
of the issues between the Bavarian and Reich governments in the area 
of political police operations and organizations. 

Several secondary works added to the picture of the political 
milieu in Bavaria. Max Spindler's Handbuch der bayerischen Geschichte 
is an essential background work. Geoffrey Pridham's Hitler's Rise to 
Power: The Nazi Movement in Bavaria, 1923-1933 was extremely useful; 
I have not always agreed with Pridham's conclusions, particularly 
where they show the influence of Karl Schwend, but his work provides 
many important insights. The most important secondary works, however, 
are those studies which are the products of Prof. Dr. Karl Bosl's 
seminar in Bavarian history at the University of Munich. Among the 
works which I have used that were written under Bosl's guidance, 
Falk Wiesemann's excellent Die Vorgeschichte der nationalsozialistische 
Machtiibernahme in Bayern, 1932-1933 is representative. It was also my 



299 



privilege to attend a seminar conducted by Professor Bosl in the fall 
of 1976 In Munich on the history of tlie Bavarian party system, whic-li 
contributed greatly to my understanding of tlie politlciil background 
of my story. 

During the course of my research in Munich I received the kind 
of shock which all doctoral candidates fear; the publication of a 
work which appears to cover one's own dissertation topic. In this 
case the work was Johannes Schwarze's Die bayerische Polizei und ihre 
historische Funktion bei der Aufrechterhaltung der offentlichen 
Sicherheit in Bayern von 1919-1933 . An examination of this work, 
however, provided relief, for Schwarze is primarily concerned with 
the LaPo and gives scant attention to the political police. As of 
this writing, the present work remains the only detailed analysis 
of the political police in Weimar era Bavaria, or, for that matter, 
Germany in the Weimar era. 

Finally, a further word about Aronson's work. My disagreement 
with this contention that the changes in Bavaria in 1933 and after 
were revolutionary in nature in no way diminishes my general respect 
and admiration for what is one of the pioneering works in this field. 
Aronson's work, in my view, fulfilled the most important function 
of any serious scholarly study. It challenged the reader to address 
the problems it presented more carefully and systematically. I only 
hope that my own work can provide a similar challenge to other readers, 



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 



This bibliography contains only those sources cited in the text 
and those sources which, although not directly cited, contributed 
materially to the overall formulation of the dissertation. It is 
divided into two segments. The first of these lists unpublished 
archival sources. The listing is by provenance and the sequence is 
dictated by the numerical system used by the various archives. This 
approach has been adopted as a means of assisting those scholars who 
might wish to pursue some of the issues raised in this work through 
further archival research. The second segment of the bibliography 
is a listing of published sources, both primary and secondary. The 
sequence for these sources is the customary alphabetical listing by 
author's last name. 



Archival Sources 

1. Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Munchen, Abteilung II 

(Since the reorganization of the Bavarian Main State ) 
(Archive at the end of 1977, all materials for the ) 
(19th and 20th Centuries have been gathered in the ) 
(new Abteilung II. The earlier subdivision, which ) 
(placed the files of the Ministry of the Interior in ) 
( Abteilung I and the files of the Ministry of Foreign) 
(Affairs/State Chancellory in Abteilung II, no longer) 
(applies. ) 

Akten des Staatsrainisteriums des Innern 
Ministry of the Interior files 

M Inn 71469 Bayerische Politische Poleizei 1933-1936 

M Inn 71474 Bayerisches Polizelblatt 1916-1938 

M Inn 71525 Politische Morde u. Gewalttaten. 

Einzelnes 1921-1933 

M Inn 71536 Verbotene Organisationen 

(rechtsgerichtete) 1923-1927 

M Inn 71539 Art. 36 des Wehrgesetzes 

M Inn 71669 Beamte des Polizei- und Sicher- 

heitsdienstes (Hilfsbeamte der 

Staatsanwaltschaft) 1917-1942 



300 



301 



M Inn 71781 Bespitzelung Bayerns. Landtag 1921-1921 

M Inn 7178A llochverrat, Landesverrat , Verrat 

milltarischer Gelieimnisse. Ein- 
zelnes, 1926-1928 

M Tnn 71785 Fuclis-Machhaus. Hocliverratspro- 

zess. Presseartlkel. 1923-1923 

M Inn 71786 Fall Lieb: Ansbach-Gehring-Pitrof 1920-1924 

M Inn 71787 Reichsmittel fiir polizeiliche 

Zwecke 1925-1933 

M Inn 71788 Schiibgefangnis Niirnberg 1900-1922 

M Inn 71789 Beiakt zum Akt: Spionage, enthal- 

tend die Vorlagen der K, Polizei- 
direktion Miinchen — Zentralpolizei- 
stelle — aum Vollzuge der Minist. 
Entschliessung vom 25. I, 17 1917-1917 
M Inn 71791 Spionage — Abwehrkurse 1924-1931 

M Inn 71792 Abordnung von Polizeiof f izieren, 

Polizelbeamten, Gendarmen u. 
Schutzleuten zur Bekampfung der 
Spionage 1917-1920 

M Inn 71793 Tschechische Spionage 1925-1934 

M Inn 71794 Eisenbahnilberwachung 1915-1924 

M Inn 71795 Eisenbahniiberwachung 1925-1936 

M Inn 71841 Die neue Polizeiverwaltung 1934-1936 

M Inn 71842 Aufbau der deutschen Polizei. 

..Allgemeines, 1936-1938 

M Inn 71851 Anderung des Gesetzes iiber den 

Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Miinchen 
zu den Kosten der Polizei- 

direktion... 1921-1932 

M Inn 71855 Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Miinchen 

zu den Kosten der Polizei- 

direktion Miinchen 1932-1937 

M Inn 71857 Beitrag der Stadtgemeinden 

Niirnberg u. Fiirth zu den Kosten 
der Polizeidirektion Niirnberg- 
Fiirth 1923-1938 

M Inn 71858 Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Augsburg 

zu den Kosten der Polizeidirektion 
Augsburg 1929-1938 

M Inn 71859 Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Wilrzburg 

zu den Kosten der Polizeidirektion 
Wiirzburg 1929-1938 

M Inn 71860 Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde 

Regensburg zu den Kosten der 
Polizeidirektion Regensburg 1929-1938 



302 



M Inn 71861 
M Inn 71862 

M Inn 71863 

M Inn 7186A 

M Inn 71865 

M Inn 71866 

M Inn 71867 

M Inn 71879 
M Inn 71880 

M Inn 71881 

M Inn 71883 
M Inn 71884 
M Inn 71885 
M Inn 71887 

M Inn 71888 

M Inn 71890 

M Inn 71891 

M 71892 



Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Hof zu 
den Kosten der Pol i zoid irektlon 
Hof 1929-1938 

Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Ludwlgs- 
liafen a.R. zu den Kosten der 
Pollzeldirektlon Ltidwlgsliafen 
a.R. 1930-1938 

Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde 
Kaiserslautern zu den Kosten der 
Polizeidirektion Kaiserslautern 1930-1938 
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Speyer 
zu den Kosten des Staats- 

polizeiamtes Speyer 1930-1938 

Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde 
Zweibrucken zu den Kosten des 
Staatspolizelamtes Zweibrucken 1930-1938 
Allgemeine Dienstverhaltnisse der 
Polizeidirektionen 1925-1937 

Allgemeine Dienstverhaltnisse der 
Polizeidirektionen 1938-1945 

Staatspolizeiamt Niirnberg-Fiirth 1920-1924 
Polizeidirektion Munchen. 

Allgemeines. 1918-1926 

Polizeidirektion (nach 27.10,36 
Polizeiprasidium) Munchen. 

Allgemeines 1927-1938 

Errichtung einer Polizeidirektion 

Niirnberg-Fiirth 1914-1922 

Errichtung einer Polizeidirektion 

Niirnberg-Fiirth 1923-1923 

Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Fiirth, 

Allgemeines, 1924-1941 

Verstaatlichung der Polizei in 
Augsburg: ab 1.4.29 Polizeidirek- 
tion Augsburg 1922-1945 
Verstaatlichung der Polizei in den 
Gemeinden: hier Wiirzburg: ab 
1,4,29 Polizeidirektion Wiirzburg 1921-1939 
Geheime Staatspolizeistelle 
wiirzburg, Aussendienststelle 
Aschaffenburg 1936-1936 
Verstaatlichung der Polizei in 
Regensburg: ab 1.4,29 Polizei- 
direktion Regensburg 1922-1941 
Verstaatlichung der Polizei in 
Hof: ab 1,4,29 Polizeidirektion 
Hof 1922-1947 



303 



M Inn 


71893 


M Inn 


7I89A 


M Inn 


71895 


M Inn 


71896 


M Inn 


71897 


M Inn 


71898 


M Inn 


71899 


M Inn 


71917 


M Inn 


71918 


M Inn 


71919 


M Inn 


71958 


M Inn 


71966 


M Inn 


71996 


M Inn 


71997 


M Inn 


71998 


M Inn 


71999 


M Inn 


72000 


M Inn 


73437 


M Inn 


80352 


M Inn 


80370 



Polizeiprasldium Ludwigshafen. 

Allgemeines. 1930-1940 

Polizeidirektion Kaiserslautern. 

Allsemeines. 1930-1940 

Staatspolizeiamt fur den 

Stadtberzirk Speyer. All- 
gemeines. 1930-1942 
Staatspolizeiamt fiir den 

Stadtberzirk Zweibriicken. 

Allgemeines. 1930-1940 

Staatspolizeistelle Neustadt a.d. 

Weinstrasse. Allgemeines. 1936-1937 
Staatspolizeistelle Neustadt a.d. 

Weinstrasse. Etat und Rechnungs- 

wesen 1936-1938 

Staatspolizeistelle Neustadt a.d. 

Weinstrasse. Hohere Beamte 1937-1937 
Polizeiamter der Polizeidirektion 

Munchen 1905-1938 

Polizeidirektionsgebaude Niirnberg- 

Fiirth (mit Planen) 1934-1937 

Organisation der Kriminalpolizei 1899-1930 
Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Furth: 

Geschaf tsfiihrung, Beschwerde 

gegen Beamte 1923-1940 

Polizeidirektionen: Regie, Etat 

u. Rechnungswesen 1929-1935 

Polizeidirektion Munchen: Regie, 

Etat und Rechnungswesen 1917-1922 

Polizeidirektion Munchen: Regie, 

Etat und Rechnungswesen 1923-1932 

Polizeidirektion Munchen: Regie, 

Etat und Rechnungswesen 1933-1938 

Polizeidirektion Munchen: Regie, 

Etat und Rechnungswesen 1938-1938 

Polizeiprasldium Munchen: Regie, 

Etat und Rechnungswesen 1939-1940 

Mitgliedschaf t und Zugehorigkeit 

von Polizei-Angehorigen zum NSDAP 

und deren Gliederungen 1933-1938 

Errichtung von Zentralstellen bei 

der Polizeidirektion Munchen 1913-1926 
Geschaf tsverteilung, Hauserlasse 1919-1942 



304 



Akten des Generalstaatskommissariats 

Files of the General State Commissar's office 



GSK 4 
GSK 6 
GSK 7 

GSK 8 

GSK 9 
GSK 49 
GSK 55 
GSK 56 

GSK 57 
GSK 58 

GSK 103 



Nachrichtenabteilung 
Pol i tischo Mjteilunj; 
T'olltisclie Al)teiliinR: llandakt 

Freilierr v. Aufsess 
Politische Abteilung: 

Allgemeines 
Politische Abteilung: Einzelnes 
Justiz 

Vaterlandische Bewegung 
Sozialistische und Konimunlstische 

Bewegung 
Polizei 
Politische Berichte von 

Dlenststellen, Behorden 
Marzunruhen, 1920 



Al 


cten d( 


2S Staat 


Files oi 


E the Mi 




MA 


100 


425 




MA 


100 


426 




MA 


100 


427 




MA 


100 


445 



MA 100 
MA 100 



446 
446a 



MA 100 446b 



MA 100 
MA 100 



taatsministeriums des Aussern/Staatskanzlei 

e Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ State Chancellory 

Nationalsozialismus 

National so zialismus 

Adolf Hitler 

Politische Verhalten von Personen, 
darin: Frick, Dr. Wilhelm 
Quidde, Dr. L. Prof. Luppe, 
Dr. Oberburgemieister in 
Nurnberg Ludendorff, Erich v, 
Soden, Karl Oskar Frhr. v. 
Prozess Fuchs-Machhaus 

Freiherr von Leoprechtlng wegen 
Hochverrats 

Schrif twechsel mit dem Reichskom- 
missar flir Uberwachung der 
offentlichen Ordnung in Berlin, 
betr. Personalien von der 
Spionage, des Landesverrats, 
kommunistischen Propaganda, u. 
verdachtiger Personen 
Reichskriminalpolizei 
Verstaatlichung der Polizei: 
Polidirektion Nurnberg-Fiirth. 
Staatliche Polizeibehorden: 
Augsburg, Wiirzburg, Hof, 
Ludwigshaf en, usw. 



447 
451 



1923-1923 
1923- J 923 

1923-1924 

1923-1924 
1923-1924 
1923-1924 
1923-1924 

1923-1924 
1923-1924 

1923-1924 
1920-1920 



1922-1931 
1932-1932 
1923-1933 



1921-1926 
1923-1923 

1922-1922 



1923-1929 
1919-1928 



1921-1932 



305 



MA 100 452 
MA 100 458 



MA 100 478 
MA 101 235/1 
MA 101 235/2 
MA 101 235/3 
MA 101 236 

MA 101 237/1 

MA 101 237/2 

MA 101 237/3 

MA 101 238/1 

MA 101 238/2 

MA 101 238/3 

MA 101 239/1 

MA 101 239/2 

MA 101 240/1 

MA 101 240/2 

MA 101 241/1 



Pollzelcllrektlon Munchen 1923-1928 

Aufstellung eines Reichskommissar 
riir Uljcrwaclning tier oircMiL 1 Ichcii 
Orclntinfi 1920-1928 

EntwaTPnung Im Vollzug des 

Freidenvertrages 1919-1923 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 

Munchen iiber radikale Bewegungen 1924-1925 
Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 

Munchen iiber radikale Bewegungen 1926-1928 
Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 

Miinchen iiber radikale Bewegungen 1929-1932 
Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1924-1924 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1925-1925 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1925-1926 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1926-1926 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1927-1927 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1927-1928 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1928-1928 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1929-1929 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1929-1929 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 

Bewegungen 1930-1930 

Lageberichte der Polizeidlrektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1930-1930 

Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion 
Niirnberg-Fiirth iiber radikale 
Bewegungen 1931-1931 



306 



MA 101 241/2 Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion 

Nurnberg-Fiirth iiber rndiknle 
Bewegungen 193.1-1932 

MA 101 2/(2 I,a;',el)cTicl)l;c dor Pol I ze Id I rckL Ion 192/i, 

Niirnhorg-I'iirfh iibor radlkalo 1927, 
Bewegungcn: Aniiang 1928 

MA 102 135 Vereinzelte Berichte der 

Regierungsprasidien von Ober- 
bayern, Ober- u. Mittelf ranken, 
der PDM und Gruko 4 1919-1920 

MA 102 136 Halbmonatsberichte des Regierungs- 

prasidiums von Oberbayern 1921-1925 

MA 102 137 Halbmonatsberichte des Regierungs- 

prasidiums von Oberbayern 1926-1929 

MA 102 138 Halbmonatsberichte der Regierungs- 

prasidiums von Oberbayern 1930-1932 
MA 103 476/1-3 Sitzungen des Ausschusses zur 

Untersuchung der Vorgange vom 
1. Mai 1923 u. der gegen Reichs- 
u. Landesverf. gerichteten 
Bestrebungen v. 26. Sept. u. 9. 
Nov. 1923 1927-1927 

MA 103 485 Politische Betatigung des 

preussischen Staatskommissars 
Weismann in Bayern, Bespitzelung 
Bayerns. 1921-1921 

MA 104 221 Handakt des GSK Uber die Vorgange 

beim Hitlerputsch und in der 
Folgezeit 1923-1924 

MA 104 990 Politische Lageberichte der 

Polizeidirektionen Miinchen u. 
Niirnberg-Furth und des Staats- 
ministerium des Innern (P.P.), 
insbesondere iiber illegale 

marxistische Bewegungen in Bayern 1934-1935 
MA 105 634 Staatsministerium des Innern 1933-1945 

MA 106 276 Ausweisung staatsgefahrlicher 

Auslander 1933-1933 

MA 106 285 Neuregelung des Polizeirechts 1934-1935 

MA 106 286 Geheime Staatspolizei 1935-1938 

MA 106 287 Bayerische Politische Polizei, 

hier Staatspolizeistelle Miinchen 1935-1936 
MA 106 290 Kriminalpolizei 1933-1937 

MA 106 293 Polizeidirektion, ab 27.10.1936 

Polizeiprasidium Miinchen 1933-1938 

MA 106 294 Verstaatlichung der Polizei 1933-1942 



307 



MA 106 299 
MA 106 300 
MA 105 301 
MA 106 302 

MA 106 303 



MA 106 311 



MA 106 312 



Schutzhaft: Allgemeines 
Schutzhaft: Allgemeines 
ScliutzluiFt: ELnzeliu's 
Vere insversammlungsrecht , 

Versammlungsverbote 
Notverordnung des Reiches und 
der Lander zur Bekampfung 

politischer Ausschreitungen 
Aufrechterhaltung der offent- 

lichen Ruhe und Ordnung; 

Ausschreitungen 
Kommunismus, Bolschewismus 



Akten des Reichsstatthalters Ritter von Epp 
Files of the Reich Plenipotentiary Ritter von Epp 

RSH 357 Polizeibehorden, Polizeidienst, 

Kriminalpolizei 
Polizeidirektionen 



RSH 363 
RSH 780 



Frick, Dr, Wilhelm; Personalakt 
des Bayer. Staatsministerium 
des Aussern 



1933-1934 
1935-1938 
1933-1936 

1933-1934 



1933-1933 



1933-1936 
1933-1936 



1933-1939 
1933-1943 



1924-1933 



2. Staatsarchiv fiir Oberbayern, Miinchen 



Akten der Ge 
Files of the 



stapoleitstelle Miinchen 
State Police Main Office, Munich 



Gestapo 1 



Gestapo 2 



Gestapo 
Gestapo 

Gestapo 
Gestapo 
Gestapo 

Gestapo 
Gestapo 

Gestapo 
Gestapo 



9 
10 

11 
13 

14 
15 



Akten u. Ref erenteniibersicht 

der Dienststelle III D bei 

der Geheimen Staatspolizei 

Miinchen 1939-1939? 

Alarmvorschrif ten im Wittels- 

bacher Palais 1936-1936 

Tagebuch der Dienststelle III D 1940-1942 
Rapporte der Bayerischen 

Politischen Polizei 1936-1936 

Behandlung der Mundpropaganda 1936-1936 
Beschlagnahme von Landkarten 1934-1940 
Bekampfung von Spionage, Landes- 

u. Hochverrat 1922-1936 

Verfiigungen iiber Spionageabwehr 1934-1942 
Verzeichnis von Gegnern des 

Nationalsozialismus in Bayern 1939-1939 
Uberwachung des Herrn Dr. Auster 1940-1940 
Terrorgruppe Rodl-Danzeisen 1936-1937 



308 



Gestapo 16 Massnahmen nach dem Attentat im 

Bilrgerbraukeller Miinchen 1939-1939 

Gestapo 17 liericlite des SpitzeJs der BPP 

In der NSBO der ],owenbraurel 
Miinchen 1933-1936 

Gestapo 20 Meldeblatt der Krlpoleltstelle 

Munchen 1938-1938 

Gestapo 28 Sozialdemokratische Verein Munchen 1922-1934 

Gestapo 29 Meldungen der Bayerischen 

Bezirksarater iiber ehemalige SPD- 

Gewerkschaf tsfunktionare auf 

Grund einer Aufforderung der 

BPP vora 13.8.1935 1935-1935 

Gestapo 30 SPD: Auslandische Kongresse, 

marxistische Gewalttatigkeit, 
Neurorganisation und Fortfiihrung 
der Parte! 1933-1934 

Gestapo 34 Untergrundtatigkeit der SPD, 

Flugblatter, Bericht einer 
Kundgebung 1934-1934 

Gestapo 41 Ermittlungen und Berichte iiber 

demokratische und kommunistische 
Aktivitaten 1939-1939 

Gestapo 44 Abschriften eines Schrif twechsels 

zwischen Ernst Toller und 
Josef Breitenbach aus dem Jahre 
1930 1930-1930 

Gestapo 56 Ermlttlungsberichte iiber 

monarchlstische Bewegungen in 
Bayern; juristische Gutachten 
iiber die hochverraterischen 

Ziele der Bewegung 1939-1940 

Gestapo 57 Monarchistiche Bewegung in 

Bayern 1936-1939 

Gestapo 60 Berichte der Regierung der Pfalz 

in das Staatsministerium des 
Innern iiber die Judenaktion am 
9./10. Nov. 1938 1938-1938 

Akten des Staatsanwaltschaf ts beim Landgericht Miinchen I 
Files of the Public Prosecutor for the State Court Munich I 

Grassl, Paul. Hochverrat 1919-1919 

Benzinlief erung der Firma 
Knopf ler an die Einwohnervehr, 
Beiakt zu 3081d 1920-1921 

Neunzert, Max: Mord an dem 
ehemaligen kommunistischen 
Kellner und Agenten Hans Hartung 
aus Hall 1924-1925 



StAnw. 


Mil. 


I 


2513 


StAnw. 


Mii. 


I 


3104 


StAnw. 


Mii. 


I 


3081d/ 
107 



309 



StAnw. Mui. I 3088 

StAnw. Mij. I 3123 
StAnw. Mii. T 3124 



S t Anw , Mil . 
S t Anw . Mii . 
StAnw. Mii. 
StAnw. Mii. 
S t Anw . Mii . 
S t Anw . Mii . 
StAnw. Mii, 



I 7351 
I 7355 
I 7378 
I 7681 
I 8131 
I 8191 
I 9124 



Akten der Regierung von 
Files of the Government 

RA 57804 
RA 57805 
RA 57809 

RA 57815 
RA 57827 

RA 57828 

RA 58111 



RA 58113 
RA 58128 

RA 58148 



Tillessen, Heinrich: Mord an 

dem Landtagsabgeordneten Karl 

Care Is 1929-1929 

Mordversucli an dem Agenten 

Hans Dobner 1920-1920 

"Zusammenfasscndcr Bericht der 

Polizeidirektion Munchen an die 

Staatsanwaltschaf t Miinchen I 

ilber die Umsturzbewegung in 

Miinchen 1919" 1919-1919 

Prozess gegen Jakob Riedner 1933-1933 
Prozess gegen Josef Neudecker 1933-1933 
Prozess gegen Josef Meister 1933-1933 
Prozess gegen Franz Burglechner 1934-1934 
Prozess gegen Alfred Fischer 1935-1935 
Prozess gegen Alfons Haugeneder 1936-1936 
Prozess gegen Ernst Hermann Jacob 1938-1938 

Oberbayern, Kammer des Innern, Regierungs-Abgabe 
of Upper Bavaria, Chamber of the Interior 

Sozialistische Bewegung 1918-1931 

Komraunistische Bewegung 1923-1923 

Verbot u. Aufldsung des roten 
Frontkampferbundes 1929-1929 

Einwohnerwehr 1919-1919 

Bekampfung politischer Aus- 
schreitungen 1931-1933 

Wochenberichte zur Bekampf- 
ung politischer Ausschreitungen 1931-1931 

Polizeidirektion Munchen: Er- 
richtung der Polizeiverwaltung, 
sowie Geschaftsfiihrung 1901-1924 

Tatigkeit des Sicherheitsbiiros 1910-1926 

Die Beamtenstellen der K, Polizei- 
direktion Munchen 1898-1920 

Pol. Oberinspektoren, Kommissare, 
Krim. Komm. , Pol. u. Krim. Sekr. 
Allgemeines 1920-1929 



310 



3. Staatsarchiv Nurnberg 

Akten tier Kej^Leruiig von Mittelfrnnken, Kammer cles Innern, Al)!',abe 1968 
Files' of the Government of Middle Franconla, Cliamber of tlie Interior 



Reg. V. Mfr 
citations. The 
appear in the no 

11/201 



11/228 
11/324 
11/325 
11/328 
11/329 
11/330 
11/331 
11/350 
11/352 



. , Kdl, Abg. 1968 is the abbreviation used for all 
listing below indicates only file numbers, which 
tes following this identifying abbreviation. 



11/376 
11/377 



11/378 
11/381 

11/382 

11/408 
11/684-686 



Reisen fremder Offizier in 

Deutschland, Verkehrungen gegen 
Spionage 
Nachrichtendienst ; dessen Erricht- 

ung und Durchfiihrung 
Polizeidirektion Nurnberg-Fiirth, 

Allgemeines 
Polizeidirektion Nurnberg-Fiirth, 

Tatigkeitsberichte 
Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Fiirth, 

Verhaltnis der Beamten 
Polizeidirektion Nxirnberg-Furth, 

Zustandigkeit 
Polizeidirektion Nurnberg-Fiirth, 

Beamte 
Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Fiirth, 

Beamte 
Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Fiirth, 

Rechnungswesen 
Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Fiirth, 

Beschwerden gegen die Polizei- 
direktion 
Die Stadtkommlssare 
Errichtung einer Polizeidirektion 

in Niirnberg und Unterkunft der 

Landespolizei 
Errichtung eines Staatspolizeiamts 

Niirnberg-Fiirth 
Die Handhabung der bffentlichen 

Ruhe u. Sicherheit im Stadtbezirk 

Niirnberg 
Die Handhabung der cif f entlichen 

Ruhe u. Sicherheit im Stadtbezirk 

Fiirth 
Politische Polizel: 

von Druckschrif ten 
Politische Polizei: Monats- u, 
Wochenberichte 



Beschlagnahame 



1882 
1920 
1923 
1926 
1924 
1925 
1923' 
1930- 
1923- 



-1932 
-1932 
-1932 
1926 
1932 
1928 
1929 
1932 
1932 



1924- 
1919- 



1921- 
1921- 



1930 
1931 



1923 
1923 



1916-1930 



1846- 
1932- 
1924- 



1930 
1932 
1925 



311 



11/695 
11/696 
11/697 

11/698 



Politische Polizei: Monats- u. 

Wochenberichte 
Politische Polizei: Aufslcht auf 

die Presse 
Bckampfung poHtlsclier Ausschreit- 

ungen, monatliche BericliCerstat- 

tung 
Revolutionare Propaganda u. 

Umtriebe 



Akten der Polizeidlrektion Nurnberg-Ftirth 
Files of the Police Directory Nuremberg-Fiirth 



PDN-F 108/1 
PDN-F 108/2 
PDN-F 109 
PDN-F 147 

PDN-F 149 

PDN-F 170 
PDN-F 174 

PDN-F 316 
PDN-F 318 

PDN-F 330 
PDN-F 331 

PDN-F 332 

PDN-F 333 

PDN-F 334 

PDN-F 335 

PDN-F 336 



Organisation der Polizelstelle 

Nordbayern 
Errichtung der Polizeidlrektion 

Nurnberg-Fiirth 
Errichtung der Polizeidlrektion 

Niirnberg-Furth, Verschiedenes 
Ausiibung politischer Tatigkeit 

wahrend der Dienststunden in 

Amtsraumen durch Beamte 
Beschwerde der nationalsozial- 

istische Stadtratsf raktion gegen 

die Polizie 
Zustandigkeit der staatlichen 

Polizeiverwaltungen 
Beschwerde gegen Oberkommissar 

Reissner wegen angebl. Begiinsti- 

gung von Juden 
Heerespolizie, Militarische 

NachrichtensaTTunels telle 
Berichte der Reichswelir und 

Vertrauliches Nachrichtendienst 

der Einwohnerwehr 
Die politische Lage in Niirnberg 
Ausgabe der Wochenberichte der 

Polizelstelle fiir Nordbayern 
Wochenberichte der Polizelstelle 

fiir Nordbayern, Bd . I 
Wochenberichte der Polizelstelle 

fiir Nordbayern, Bd. II 
Wochenberichte der Polizelstelle 

fiir Nordbayern, Bd. Ill 
Wochenberichte der Polizelstelle 

fiir Nordbayern, Bd. IV 
Allgemeine Berichte der Polizel- 
stelle fiir Nordbayern und Sonder- 

berlclite 



1931-1931 
1931-1932 

1932-1932 
1919-1923 



1919-1921 
1920-1923 
1920-1933 

1925-1936 

1925-1925 
1933-1937 

1934-1934 
1919-1921 

1920-1921 
1919-1919 

1919-1921 

1919-1920 

1919-1920 

1920-1920 

1920-1921 

1921-1921 



312 



PDN-F 337/1 Allgemeine Berichte der Polizei- 

stelle filr Nordbayern, Bd. I 1921-1921 
PDN-F 337/2 Allgemeine Bericlite der Polizel- 

stelle fiir Nordbayern, Bd. II 1921-1921 
PDN-F 338 Lageberichte (EntwurCe) der Poll- 1922, 

zeidirektion Nurnberg-Fiirth 1924 
PDN-F 339 Polltische Lageberichte des Staats- 

polizeiamts Nurnberg-Fiirth 1922-1923 
PDN-F 340 Tatigkeitsberichte fiir die Jahre 1923-1935 

PDN-F 341 Tatigkeitsberichte und Polizie- 

statistik der Schutzmannschaf t 1925-1936 
PDN-F 407 Berichte der Zentralstelle "Tank" 

in Munchen iiber polltische und 

wlrtschaftliche Verhaltnisse 1919-1919 
PDN-F 486 Direktorialverfugungen 1923-1928 



4. Staatsarchiv Wiirzburg 

Akten der Gestapostelle Wiirzburg 
Files of the Gestapo Office Wiirzburg 

The following are personal files maintained by the Gestapo Office 
Wurzburg. The customary archive identification is simply the file 
number followed by the name of the individual in question. For the 
sake of clarity within the notes, I have prefixed the initials GW 
to the file numbers. 

GW 328/1 Paul Otto Seitz 

GW 328/11 Bernd Jost Selig 

GW 328/12 David Selig 

GW 328/14 Ernst Selig 

GW 334/1 Wilhelm Sieben 

GW 334/3 Ferdinand Siebenlist 

GW 334/8 Willi Siebentritt 

GW 334/15 Johanna Sieber 

GW 337/4 Wolfgang Singer 

GW 337/5 Leonhard Singheiser 

GW 337/7 Hildegard Sinner 

GW 337/10 Wilhelm Sippel 



Berlin Document Center 



SS Personalakten 
SS Personnel Files 



BDC: SS Personalakte Karl v. Eberstein 
BDC: SS Personalakte Ileinrich Gnrels 



313 



BDC: SS Personalakte Hugo Gold 

BDC: SS Personalakte Reinhard Heydrich 

BDC: SS Personalakte Franz Josef _Huber 

BDC: SS Personalakte Bcnno Martin 

\',\)C: SS Personalakte Ilelnrlch Miiller 

BDC: SS Personalakte Walther S^tepp 

Miscellaneous BDC Files 

BDC: Hauptarchiv Mappe 1221— Dr. Wilhelra Frick 

BDC: unnumbered file "Polizei, Gestapo u. SS... 



6. 



Bundesarchiv Koblenz 



Akten der alten Re 
Files of the Reich 

BAK R43I/904 
BAK R43I/936 

BAK R43I/937 

BAK R43I/2253 
BAK R43I/2688 
BAK R43I/2689 
BAK R43I/2690 
BAK R43I/2693- 
BAK R43I/2696- 



BAK R43I/2714 
BAK R43I/2731 



BAK R431I/396 
BAK R43II/398 



ichskanzlei 
Chancellory 

Ermordung Rathenaus 1922-1934 
Offentliche Angriffe gegen 

Reichmlnister Erzberger 1919-1919 
Offentliche Angriffe gegen 

Reichsminister Erzberger 1919-1931 

Politische Uberwachung Bayerns 1922-1924 

Polizeiangelenheiten, Allgemeines 1919-1933 

Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz 1920-1926 

Polizeiverwaltung 1921-1933 

-2694 Sicherheitspolizei 1922-1933 
-2697 Lageberichte des Reichskoimnissars 

fiir die Uberwachung der offent- 

lichen Ordnung 1923-1928 

Ausnahmezustande — Siiddeutschland 1920-1925 
Organisation Escherich und andere 

rechtsgerichtete politische 

Verbande 1920-1923 

Sicherheitspolizie 1933-1943 

Schutzhaft 1919-1920, 

1933-1935 



7. Institut fur Zeitgeschichte, Milnchen 

Sammlung Zeugenschrif ttura 
Collection of Eyewitness Reports 



ZS 539 



Zeugenschrif ttum Friedrich Karl 1947, 
von Eberstein 1965 



314 



8. NSDAP Hnuptarchiv 

'I'lie Main Archive of tlie Nazi party was mlcrof IJined under the 
auspices of the Hoover Institute. Many of the files in the collection 
are official files of the Bavarian police and state government, 
turned over to the party during 1933-1945. These files were examined 
at the University of Florida library. The identification of the 
files is by microfilm reel number, folder number, and the description 
of contents in the official Hoover Institute guide. 

NSDAP Hauptarchiv 

Main Archive of the NSDAP 



HA 4/89 

HA 4/104 
HA 4-5/113 

HA 5/120 
HA 5/127 

HA 20-385 
HA 35/709 

HA 36/716 

HA 53/1236 

HA 57-58/1389-1392 

HA 65/1481 

HA 66-67/1488 

HA 67/1489 

HA 67/1490 

HA 67/1491 

HA 67/1493 

HA 67-68/1494 

HA 68/1495 

HA 68/1497A 



Verbot der Gedenkfeier fiir die 

Gefallenen des 9.11.1923 1925-1925 

Der 1. Mai 1923 in Miinchen 

Aufmarsch der Partei und SA 1923-1923 
Prof. Fuchs: "Zur Vorgeschichte 

der nationalsozialistische 

Erhebung." 1936-1936 

Vernehmung Pohner wegen Hochverrat 1923-1923 
Vorgeschichte und Zusammenbruch 

des Hitler-Putsches 1923-1923 

Reichsparteitag 1923 1923-1923 

Bayerische Einwohnerwehr. E.W. 

Miinchen 1920-1921 

Einwohnerwehr en (Oberbayern) 

Bewaffnung 1921-1921 

Erwin Kern (Rathenau Mord) 1936-1936 

Polizeiberichte iiber Naziterror 1932-1933 
NSDAP: Deutscher Tag in Coburg 

am 14, /15. 10. 1922 1922-1923 

NSDAP: Grossere Vorkomnisse 

(April-Mai 1923) 1923-1923 

NSDAP: Putschversuch, Presse- 

notizen (Juni-Nov. 1923) 1923-1923 

NSDAP: Umsturzversuch am 8./9. 

November 1923 1923-1923 

NSDAP: 8./9. November 1923 

Schriftliche Verhandlungen 1923-1923 
NSDAP: Vernehmungen zum Umsturz 

8./9. Nov. 1923 1923-1924 

NSDAP: Vernehmungen zum Umsturz 

8./9. Nov, 1923 1923-1924 

NSDAP: AuflcJsung der Partei 

1923— Aufhebungen 1923-1924 

NSDAP: Illegale Fortfiihrung der 

Parte! 1923-1924 



315 



IIA 74/155AA 

IIA 75/T)')7 

IIA 76/1560 

HA 76/1561 

HA 78/1569 

HA 79/1580 
HA 79/1584 
HA 79/1585 

HA 79/1588 
HA 79/1590 
HA 79/1591 
HA 80/1592 

HA 80/1595-1600 



HA 81/1615 
HA 81/1617 
HA 87/1835 
HA 87/1836 
HA 90-91/1881 
HA 92/1893 



HA 94/1905 



NSDAP: Verhalten dcr SA und 

SS, 1926-1932 
NSDAP: Aurjosiing naLloiial- 

so/C ial lBt:isclie Verliilnde 
NSDAP: Grossere Vorf'aile Mai 

1923-Dez. 1929 
NSDAP: Anschlag gegen das 

Ebert Denkmal 
NSDAP: Vorfalle beim Uni- 

f ormverbot 



KPD 
KPD 
KPD 



Verhalten der Kommunisten 
Gewalttatigkeiten 
Verhalten der Kommunisten — 



HA 95/1917 



Vorkommnisse in Miinchen 
KPD: Waffenkontrollen 
KPD: Das Antikominunistengesetz 
KPD: Gerichtliche Entscheidungen 
KPD: Aushebung einer Bezirk- 

skeitertagung am 3.1.26 
Verfahren gegen Robert Kauper 

wegen fahrlassiger Totung des 

Oberstlandesgerichtsrats 

Pohner 
Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Fiirth — 

Verschiedenes 
Polizeidirektion Nurnberg-Fjirth — 

Dr. Martin, Verschiedenes 
NSDAP: Offentliche Versammlungen 

in Miinchen 
NSDAP: Verbotene Versammlungen 

in Miinchen 
Stadtrat Neu-Ulm Politische 

Polizei 
MSP — Mehrheitssozialistische 

Partei. Angelegenheiten Auer 

betr. Versammlungen u. Berichte 

1921. Bezirkstag der SPD fur 

Oberbayern u. Schwaben, 1922 
Vereinigte Sozialdemokratische 

Partei Duetschlands. Kampf- 

organlsation 1922. Organisation 

MSP Selbstschutz. Organisation 

Auer. Proletarlsche Selbstschutz 
Hundertschaf ten 
Verhalten der Kommunisten 
Anzeigen, Schlagereien, Zu- 

sammenstosse 



1926-1932 

1932-1932 

1923-1929 

1928-1928 

1931-1931 
1932-1932 
1933-1934 

1933-1933 
1930-1930 
1925-1925 
1926-1929 

1926-1926 



1925-1925 
1936-1941 
1936-1938 
1924-1926 
1925-1927 
1931-1933 



1921-1922 



1922-1923 



1922-1931 



316 



HA 13A/13A9 



HA llhhTjh 

IIA 22A-23A/1755 

HA 23A/1756 

HA 23A-24A/1757 

HA 24A/1758 

HA 24A/1759 

HA 36A/1823 



Personnlakten des Polizei- 
prasidiums Berlin: Schrlft- 
steller Friedrich Wllhelm 
Hc'inz , Hannover 



NSDA? 
NSDAP 
NSDAP 
NSDAP 
NSDAP 
NSDAP 



Al I Homelncs 

Allgemelnes 

Allgemelnes 

Grundsatzliches 

Allgemelnes 

Allgemelnes 



1929-1929 
1920-1922 
1923-1923 
1923-1926 
1925-1925 
1928-1930 
1931-1933 



Junglandbund 



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ETOGRAPHTCAL SKETCH 

James H. McGee, III, was born on July 24, 1950. He attended 
public schools in Lawrenceville, Georgia, the University of Georgia, 
Gainesville Junior College, and Beloit College. Mr. McGee graduated 
from Beloit College in August 1972 with a B.A. in history. Magna 
Cum Laude. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. 

After graduate study at the London School of Economics, 
Mr. McGee entered the University of Florida in March 1973. In 
June 1974 he completed an M.A. thesis entitled "Arms and Appeasement: 
Munich and the European Balance of Force in 1938." In the summer of 
1974 he attended the Summer School of the University of Vienna in 
Strobl, Austria. He then returned to the University of Florida to 
continue graduate work leading to the Ph.D. in history. 

In July 1976 Mr. McGee passed his doctoral qualifying exams, 
and the following month he departed for Germany to do research into 
the history of the political police in modern Germany, During the 
academic year 1976-1977 he was enrolled as a student at the University 
of Munich. His research and study in Germany was supported by a 
Fulbright-Hays dissertation grant. 

During his years at the University of Florida, Mr. McGee has 
worked as a teaching assistant and instructor in the Departments of 
History and the Humanities. During the summer of 1979 he served as an 



(23 



32A 



Instructor In History for the University of New Orleans Summer Program 
in Innsbruck, Austria. He will return to this pro^^ram as an Assistant 
I'rofessor in the summer of 1980. After returning from Austria in 
August 1979, Mr. McGee completed his dissertation. He expects to 
receive the doctorate in history in March 1980. 

Mr. McGee now resides in North Manchester, Indiana, where his 
wife, Sandra, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida 
in December 1979, now teaches at Manchester College. 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it 
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is 
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree 
of Doctor of Philosophy. 

«■ /^ 

/ 

Charles F. Sidman, Chairman 
Professor of History and Dean, 
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it 
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is 
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree 
of Doctor of Philosophy. 




Geoffrey J. Giles 

Assistant Professor of History 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it 
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is 
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree 
of Doctor of Philosophy. 



Neill W. Macaulay 
Professor of History 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it 
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is 
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree 
of Doctor of Philosophy. 



Norman M. Wilensky 

Associate Professor of History/ 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it 
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is 
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree 
of Doctor of Philosophy. 

^^< ///f /z/^ 

Helga W/Kraft 

Associate Professor of German 



This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department 
of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the 
Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the require- 
ments for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

March 1980 



Dean, Graduate School 



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 




3 1262 07332 003 7